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In 1996, using an experimental test, the American Red Cross found that one in 9,850 blood donors in the L.A. area tested positive for the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. Two years later, it was one in every 5,400. By 2006, a more refined test detected the parasite in one in 3,800 donors. About 10% to 30% of infected people develop symptoms of chronic disease, experts say.br> Got that? Granted, there are other sexually transmitted diseases. But it does appear that the fear of heterosexually transmitted AIDS may be a bit overblown.
By contrast, HIV, which blood banks screen for, shows up in one of every 30,000 donors, said Susan Stramer, executive scientific officer for the Red Cross.