Voronezh: Seven people given HIV-positive blood in Russian city

Seven people in the southern Russia city of Voronezh were accidentally given blood from an HIV-positive donor, Russian media reported Tuesday, citing local health authorities.

So far, one woman has tested positive after receiving a transfusion of the infected blood, the head of the Voronezh regional health department, Mikhail Ivanov, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

The HIV-infected individual donated blood eight times in 2005. "In seven cases, the HIV tests were negative and only the latest test taken on May 20 raised some doubts, after which repeated tests were taken, which proved that the blood was HIV-positive," Ivanov said.

The woman who has contracted HIV had a blood transfusion following childbirth, the official said. Ivanov explained that the virus was sometimes impossible to detect for six months or even a year.

Prosecutors in the city have launched an investigation into possible violations of regulations that led to the use of the HIV-positive blood in transfusions, the AP reports. Russia has the largest number of AIDS and HIV cases in Europe. Official statistics show that 330,000 Russians have the HIV virus, but U.N. experts say the true number tops 1 million. P.L.

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