DONATE BLOOD NOT HIV/AIDS …AND SAVE LIVES
By: Mfundo Knowledge Mthembu
Often in times people use the South African National Blood Services (SANBS) centres as their HIV/AIDS testing centre.
The SANBS said NO to this thoughtless, selfish, and inhumane act.
“SANBS discourages the public for donating blood to get a free HIV/AIDS test, as people who do this are putting the lives of patients who receive blood transfusion at risk,” said
SANBS Communications Officer, Ludwe Matanzima.
Matanzima continued to say that, it is really unfortunate that there are still people so uneducated and careless. How can you donate blood in order to be tested for HIV/AIDS? You
are not risking their lives, but the lives of others too.
The process of donating blood is said to be simple, straight forward and easy as a breeze but with the complications brought by some people, everything seems to go left.
“Each and every blood unit received by SANBS gets tested at the laboratories, even regular donors blood get re-tested in order to make sure that it is still safe to use on patients,” said
People often then get confused and excited for absolutely no reason.
When receiving the generic messages from then SANBS, it does not mean that your blood is cleared of the virus.
Matanzima said that the generic messages are supposedly to welcome donors to the SANBS family, and thanking them for their donation.
Upon questioning of the process, if someone has been tested positive for the virus, Matanzima responded, “We invariably call them and tell them that an irregularity has been
picked up in their blood and request them to visit a donor centre where they will be counselled by a nurse and given their status.
Some donors prefer that we contact their doctors, in that case we call the doctor and explain our findings and advise that they do their own tests to confirm and break the news to the patient.”
Every blood unit received goes to the laboratory and separated into three different components, which are Red blood cells, Plasma and Platelets.
Despite all the complications and confusion from people, the SANBS is appealing to the public for their “generosity, kindness and considerable selves” to donate blood as they are in
“serious demand for blood” and want to save lives.