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New blood tests to screen for HIV

The new blood test is being introduced in March Keystone Archive

A new test to screen blood donations more effectively against the virus that causes Aids is to be introduced by the Swiss Blood Transfusion Service.

The test, which uses genetic engineering techniques, is based on a similar system used to screen for the Hepatitis C virus for the last three years.

The Swiss Red Cross, which runs the blood-testing service, says the new test can detect the HIV virus within 10 to 12 days – far more quickly than the current 20-day waiting period.

Rudolf Schwab, the service’s director, also announced on Tuesday that anyone infected with a potentially dangerous disease as a result of a transfusion will receive compensation of SFr18,000 ($10,800) a year.

Last year, 51 people who were infected by contaminated blood during the 1980s and early 1990s received payouts from a fund set up by the Swiss Red Cross, added Schwab.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR