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Does my wife need to be tested for HIV after a blood transfusion?

Q: My wife has been transfused with 12 units of blood early this year, on account of portal vein thrombosis (PVT). Her liver is normal and non-alcoholic, leading to varices in her intestine. Now she is responding to beta-blocker & for the last 6 months there has not been any problem. She is now taking Ciplar 40 - 80 mg, twice a day. Does she need to undergo a test for HIV or Hepatitis B or C? Its been 5 months since she received the transfusions & there is no problem with digestion or any thing, her BP is also normal in spite of taking such a high dose of Ciplar 40. Please advise.

A:All blood transfused to patients undergoes mandatory checks for HIV, HBsAg, HCV, VDRL, Malaria, etc. The risk of developing an infection with an episode of blood transfusion is negligible, since the tests used for screening are very sensitive, but may miss a sample in the window phase / incubation phase. However, the risk increases according to the number of transfusions. For you own mental satisfaction, you could undergo HIV, HBsAg and HCV testing, though it is not recommended as a routine.

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