Beijing An HIV-positive man in northern China who sold his blood infected at least 18 others with the virus - including three who died - the government and state media said Saturday.
The man, identified only by his surname, Song, gave blood 15 times at a blood bank in Jilin province's Dehui city between January 2003 and June 2004, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
China Youth Daily newspaper said Saturday that Song, 41, was unemployed and relied on selling blood for his income. Blood buying is banned in China but continues to be a problem.
The newspaper quoted Song as saying he did not know he was HIV-positive until being diagnosed in October, after officials in Jilin launched an investigation into blood-related infections.
The infected blood, apparently never tested, was given to 25 patients needing transfusions, Xinhua said. Eighteen of them contracted HIV and three died, Xinhua said.
Song, 41, also infected two sexual partners and the spouse of one of his sexual partners, the agency said.
The blood bank closed in July 2004 after it was taken over by the Dehui People's Hospital, Xinhua said.