AIDS Education and the Prevention of Transfusion-Transmitted HIV Infection in the United States
Beginning in 1982—when AIDS was first suspected to be a blood-borne disease—and continuing until the present time, education for blood donors has been a principal public health strategy for preventing transfusion-transmitted HIV infections in the United States. Initially, the U. S. Public Health Service (USPHS) used epidemiological data obtained from studies of unusual opportunistic illnesses in male homosexuals, intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs to formulate preliminary surveillance definitions for “risk groups” for AIDS. These definitions were disseminated as educational messages via the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as by the USPHS Interagency AIDS Task Force, which included the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). As the regulatory agency of the USPHS, the FDA disseminated regulatory communications about AIDS and transfusion-transmitted HIV infection for implementation by FDA-licensed blood collection sites. National organizations representing blood collectors, namely, the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), American Red Cross (ARC), and the Council of Community Blood Centers (CCBC) promulgated these educational messages to constituent blood centers and blood banks. The following chapter presents a chronology of the development of these various education programs, their rationale, and their evolution as new scientific information became available. The unique interactions of the federal regulatory agency (FDA), the blood collection organizations (AABB, ARC, CCBC) and the public reflect norms of the American culture during the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Educational Message Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Patient
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