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AIDS in the UKThe Making of Policy, 1981-1994$
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Virginia Berridge

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204725.001.0001

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1983–1984: The ‘Gift Relationship’: AIDS and the Blood

1983–1984: The ‘Gift Relationship’: AIDS and the Blood

(p.37) 2 1983–1984: The ‘Gift Relationship’: AIDS and the Blood
AIDS in the UK

Virginia Berridge

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the issue of AIDS and contamination of blood supplies created broader issue for the field of sexual health. Blood was of key importance in defining AIDS as an issue of general policy importance in the UK. In Britain, blood was linked inextricably with the concept of voluntarism. The issue of possible contamination of the blood supply and blood products first emerged in the British medical press early in 1983. An infant had received a blood transfusion at birth from a donor who subsequently developed AIDS and died some time later. It was a matter of concern that this donor had not become ill until some time after the donation had been made; the idea that there might be a latent period, or a carrier state, was emerging as a possibility.

Keywords:   blood contamination, AIDS, ramification, voluntarism, blood transfusion

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