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China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative:The Asahi Shimbun

09 February 2019

"The detection of HIV antibodies ... could mean that [the products] have been contaminated by the blood of HIV-infected people", said Wang Yuedan, deputy director of Peking University Health Science Center's department of immunology, in an interview with the Beijing News.

Established in 2000, Shanghai Xinxing is a biotech company specialising in the manufacture and sale of medical blood products.

Tests on the suspect batch proved negative for HIV, officials said on Wednesday, following a comment by China's National Health Commission that there was a "very low" risk of HIV infection from it.

Health officials have been directed to closely monitor the patients that were administered the infected blood plasma, a statement released by the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

The media report said the batch contained 12,226 doses due to expire in 2021.

The latest scandal is but one in a series that has affected China's health care system in recent months. Doctors, in seeking to trace the source of the HIV infection, found it was from receiving injections of immunoglobulin produced by Shanghai Xinxing.

The product used for immune therapy treatment is made with antibodies from blood plasma.

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On Wednesday, a day after the original warning, Chinese authorities tried to reassure the public by announcing that further tests on a batch of the products in question have come up negative. Months earlier, faulty diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccines resulted in the government slapping a record penalty of an equivalent of 1.3 billion USA dollars on the vaccine manufacturer, Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology Company.

Public outrage over medical scandals has alarmed the leadership of the ruling Communist Party, moving it to respond more quickly and firmly than in the past, including bringing criminal charges and billion dollar fines. Ltd., the country's second-largest blood product manufacturer.

Also see in the New York Times an op-ed by global health expert Huáng Yánzhōng 黄延中: If a government can't deliver safe vaccines for children, is it fit to rule?

The ABC approached the China Meheco Group and various government bodies for clarification but was not able to receive a response - most government offices and companies are now closed in China due to Lunar New Year public holiday.

This week's particular scandal recalls a massive HIV outbreak caused by lax sanitation procedures for plasma donations and transfusions.

A study of 280,000 villagers in Henan who had sold their blood found that more than 36,000, about one in eight, had HIV or Aids.

China says tests of human immunoglobulin are HIV negative:The Asahi Shimbun