oa Central African Journal of Medicine - AIDS and AIDS-related complex in twenty Zambians with sickle cell anaemia

Volume 34, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Twenty Zambians with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) presented with generalized lymphadenopathy and other signs suggestive of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or the AIDS-related complex (ARC). All had previously received transfusions of the blood untested for antibodies against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All were found to have anti-HIV antibodies. Three are known to have died within 10 months of diagnosis. Patients with SCA form a major group at risk for HIV infection through transfusion. The first step in prevention is to maintain the health of the patients, so avoiding the need to transfuse blood, and a call is made for the development of Sickle Cell Clinics. Secondly, blood transfusion should be confined to only those patients in danger of dying of anaemic heart failure. These two steps should be taken, even when blood donors are screened for HIV.

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