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September 14, 2007

Blood Banks Closed in Peru

All of Peru’s 240 blood banks have been closed after at least four people were infected with HIV through blood transfusions from the same public hospital.

Peru’s health ministry has declared a state of emergency in the country’s blood banks; health minister Carlos Vallejos said that the banks would be inspected by a commission that will include World Health Organization officials.

"This situation cannot continue," Vallejos said in a news conference, reports the Associated Press. "All of Peru's blood banks are being reviewed."

A 44-year-old mother of four and an 11-month-old infant were among the people infected at the hospital in Callao, Peru.

Peru has about a 0.6 percent HIV-prevalence rate, with an estimated 93,000 of its 27 million inhabitants living with HIV.


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