Post-Epidemic Advancements in Treatment and Product
During the AIDS epidemic in the US in the 1980s, the US blood supply became contaminated with the HIV virus from infected blood donors. During this period, the only products that were available to treat hemophilia were made from donated blood, and thus many people with hemophilia became infected with HIV.
It is estimated that about 50% of all those with hemophilia became infected, including around 90% of those with severe hemophilia. Thousands of people with hemophilia developed AIDS and died from this disease. Many others from that era still live with HIV today.
In 1985, the US began screening donated blood for the HIV virus, and over the next several years, increasingly advanced and sensitive tests were introduced. Virus-killing techniques were introduced in 1987 to further increase the safety of products made from donated blood, , which have also been refined and improved over the years.
Since 1987, there have been no incidences of HIV being transmitted from a US-sourced factor VIII or factor IX product. Today, the US blood supply and products made from it are considered some of the safest in the world.
Although there isn’t a cure for HIV, highly effective treatments are available to prevent the progression of the disease. Many members of the IHTC staff treated patients during the AIDS epidemic and saw firsthand how HIV affected the lives of people with hemophilia and their families.
Today we continue to stand by those who are affected by HIV. As HIV treatment is very specialized, we coordinate your HIV treatment with an infectious disease specialist. Your best care is our priority at IHTC.
Learn about hepatitis and hemophilia