Beginning in May 1986, government of Mexico required companies that bought blood and blood plasma from clients to test the products for HIV and to report results to the Secretariat of Health. By late 1986, the government recognized a steady increase in HIV infections among blood products from a company buying plasma from people in a poor suburb of Mexico city.
Acting on this information, in early 1987 the government began an investigation of the center’s operations. A review of the company’s records found 281 HIV-positive donors. Many of these infections were recent: 62 had new infections during June-October 1986 (that is, an earlier HIV-negative test followed by an HIV-positive test).
The investigation traced and interviewed 54 HIV-positive donors and 58 HIV-negative donors. The biggest risk for infection was having donated often: 20% of those donating 1-3 times per month were HIV-positive; 69% of persons donating 4-9 times per month were HIV-positive; 89% of persons donating more than 10 times per month were HIV-positive.
Acting on this information, government of Mexico banned commercial collection of blood and blood products.
1. Avila C, Stetler HC, Sepulveda J, et al. The epidemiology of HIV transmission among paid plasma donors, Mexico City, Mexico. AIDS 1989; 3: 631-633. Abstract available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2512956 (accessed 12 February 2018).