Monday, June 6, 2011

Exposing India’s Blood Farmers

Book Excerpt: Exposing India’s Blood Farmers | Wired Science |

Instead of asking their relations to give blood, most people rely on an informal network of professional donors who hang out in front of hospitals willing to give blood in return for a small fee.

Fifty feet outside of Parikh’s door is a string of makeshift tea shops and cigarette sellers who double as blood brokers. After a discreet inquiry with a man with paan stains across his lower teeth, I’m told to meet a man named Chunu, who is the resident professional donor. “Just be sure that you trade it in at the bank. He’s got HIV; the blood isn’t always screened,” the man warns before sending me on my way. Five minutes later I’m in an alley behind the hospital face-to-face with a small, bearded man holding a shawl over his head and ears. I tell him I need a pint of B negative blood as quickly as possible.

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