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Nucleic acid test used to detect hepatitis B and HIV carriers

SHANGHAI Blood Center is the first one in the country to conduct advanced tests on all blood samples to ensure blood safety.

Using the nucleic acid testing technology, the window period of hepatitis B can be shortened from 50 days to 25 days, hepatitis C from 72 days to 59 days and HIV from 22 days to 11 days.

Over 90 percent of hepatitis B infection and over 75 percent of HIV infection occur during the window period -- the time from infection until a test can detect the infection.

Shanghai began to experiment with nucleic acid testing two years ago as part of a national program and has applied the technology to all blood samples.

Shanghai Blood Center officials said the new technology has succeeded in detecting hepatitis B virus, which was missed by traditional screening methods.

The national health authorities have decided to introduce nucleic acid testing to more regions this year.


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