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Man Sentenced to Prison for Concealing HIV Status While Donating Blood

A judge in Chicago in the US has sentenced a man to prison for concealing that he was a HIV patient while donating blood to a plasma collection center at Hammond.//

Michael Ivy, 46, of East Chicago, pleaded guilty to selling blood contaminated with the HIV in September last year.

Blood plasma is the liquid component of blood, in which the blood cells are suspended. Plasma is a yellow colored liquid. Plasma is the largest single component of blood, making up about 55% of total blood volume. Blood plasma contains many vital proteins including fibrinogen, globulins and human serum albumin.

Pro-Tem Lake County Criminal Court Judge Robert Lewis on Friday ordered Ivy to serve a two-year sentence in a state prison and imposed a one-year probation on him.

Ivy admitted he had been diagnosed in August 2002 with HIV. A doctor at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago confirmed the diagnosis in November 2002 and told Ivy he could never donate blood, plasma or tissue in the future.

Nevertheless, Ivy indicated to Bio-Blood, the Hammond collection center, last summer he wasn't infected with HIV. He checked the "no" box on a questionnaire that asked if he was HIV positive.

Court records say Ivy donated blood three times last September before Bio-Blood tested the Sept. 13 specimen and found it HIV positive. State law requires contaminated blood to be destroyed.

According to researchers there is a 90% risk of HIV transmission through infected blood products which is higher than the risk from any other transmission means.

However there are those who object to criminalization of reckless transmission. They say that if there are many high-profile prosecutions, those who might be infected may be deterred from testing. This may have serious public health implications.

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