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News >  Idaho

Man charged with attempting to sell HIV-infected blood

Associated Press

BOISE – A 22-year-old Idaho man appeared in court Monday on a felony charge of attempting to sell his HIV-infected blood to a Boise-area blood collection center.

Kyle Rich was arrested at his Meridian home Friday night after Boise police detectives determined he knew he was HIV-positive when he went to a Boise-area plasma center in September and sold his blood. The presence of the infectious disease was discovered a few days later during routine testing done on all blood purchased by the center, which police declined to name. Rich’s blood was not added to the center’s supply for distribution.

Police declined to disclose why detectives believe Rich was aware he had HIV at the time he sold his blood.

“Because of privacy issues, we only get involved when there is some suspicion on the part of the blood bank, and that’s why our officers were notified,” said Boise Police Department spokeswoman Lynn Hightower.

Rich was charged Monday with a felony count of knowingly attempting to transfer bodily fluids infected with the HIV virus. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 24 in 4th District Court.

Shawn Richardson, a spokesman for the regional American Red Cross Blood Services in Salt Lake City, said the organization’s Boise blood bank – which supplies blood to 40 southern Idaho hospitals – was not the collection center Rich visited.

“This individual sold his blood, and the Red Cross doesn’t pay for blood,” said Richardson. “That’s the first line of our safety program, to only take blood from volunteers.”

Hightower said all blood supply facilities are required to test for contamination in any plasma they receive.

“Hopefully it is reassuring to folks that the system worked and the testing caught the contaminated blood before it was added to the supply,” she said.

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