Blood: Contamination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th December 2021.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people who received a blood transfusion on the NHS prior to September 1991 to undertake (a) hepatitis C and (b) other blood-borne virus testing.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In England, guidance recommends offering a hepatitis C (HCV) test to patients who received a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom before 1991. In addition, a variety of initiatives and resources have been developed to support healthcare providers, commissioners and others to improve the identification of cases and testing in both the general population and among high-risk groups.

HIV testing was encouraged for those who received blood prior to 1985. All individuals who acquired HIV through blood transfusion prior to 1991 have been diagnosed. Screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been in place since 1972. The risk of acquiring HBV between 1972 and 1991 is extremely small.

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