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In Brief: HIV-1 antigen blood screening

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

HIV-1 antigen blood screening: Benefits of testing blood donors for HIV-1 antigens would not outweigh the potential costs, FDA's Blood Products Advisory Committee concludes June 23 in Bethesda, Maryland. The 9 to 6 vote reflects the belief by the majority of panel members that blood banks should not conduct HIV antigen screening of donors. Panel members noted that, although antigen screening could detect a few HIV-infected donors that currently are missed, the test is significantly more expensive than existing HIV antibody screening tests. Panelists also raised concern that individuals who think they may be infected with HIV would donate blood in order to receive the antigen screening test. The panel also voted 8 to 6, with one abstention, that FDA should not approve donor screening claims for HIV antigen test kits...

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