By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com July 22 2003 12:00 AM ET
Five HIV-positive people in Marion County, Ind., were charged last week with deliberately selling their blood to blood collection centers despite knowing that they are infected with HIV, the Indianapolis Star reports. The HIV-tainted blood plasma was sold to two Indianapolis blood collection centers during the past two years, said Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi. Under Indiana law, knowingly donating or selling contaminated bodily fluids is a felony, punishable by two to eight years in prison. Brizzi said the five people lied about their HIV status in order to sell their plasma for about $20 per donation after they had been informed by state health officials that earlier donated blood products had tested positive for HIV antibodies. The virus was detected through routine screening practices. Additional charges may be filed if prosecutors discover that the blood donors tried to sell their blood more than once after being told that they are HIV-positive.