Dread of contracting AIDS from blood transfusion has driven the dramatic expansion in autologous blood donation programs that began in the mid-1980s. At that time, the blood-banking community, sharing the public’s concern about AIDS and anxious about legal liability, eagerly endorsed autologous blood donation. The practice was also seen as a way to reduce the transmission of hepatitis, which by then had been recognized as a much more frequent complication of transfusion than was previously thought. Much has changed since that time. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing was incorporated into donor screening 10 years ago, together with the imposition.
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