HCM CITY (VNS) — Using nucleic acid testing (NAT) in blood screening helped to reduce the risk of HIV and hepatitus infections, and enhance blood safety, according to Doctor Phu Chi Dung, director of the HCM City Hematology and Blood Transfusion Hospital.
The hospital was the first in Viet Nam to successfully implement NAT techniques for blood screening, said Dung during a talkshow themed "Blood screening procedures and techniques".
Blood screening helped to detect HIV, HBV and HCV viruses during the time between when a patient has been infected and when they showed positive by antibody tests, said Dung.
Viet Nam's hospitals received more than one million units of blood from donors every year. However, the rate of infection through blood transfusion including HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C was high in Viet Nam, according to Dung.
The NAT technique helps to detect HCV virus after 23 days of exposure (down from 59 days), and the time for HBV and HIV detection is 34 days and 11 days, (saving 25 days and 11 days).
NAT testing is part of the Health Ministry's roadmap towards standard blood transfusions at all health facilities nationwide.
A person can donate up to 500ml of blood each time every three months. — VNS