Transfusion medicine (Oxford, England) 2017 05 19() doi 10.1111/tme.12427
Blood donors are, in principle, healthy individuals who may be revealed as infectious for blood-borne agents by the laboratory screening process, depicting the asymptomatic burden of the disease. Therefore, monitoring hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected donor and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected donor and associating to their demographical and behavioural characteristics may shed light on the dynamics and contemporary changes in these viruses’ epidemiology.
Donors presenting repeatedly reactive HCV or HIV serology/nucleic acid testing (NAT) screening results were submitted to confirmatory testing. Confirmed positive donors were invited to return to the blood bank for notification and counselling when a follow-up sample was obtained and an interview performed to eventually disclose potential risks. HCV- or HIV-infected donors identified over 11 years of screening (2004-2015) were evaluated for demographic and behavioural parameters.
In the period, 139 160 donations were screened, and 36 (0.025%) were found positive for HIV, stemming from 29 male and 7 female donors. Among those, eight subjects were repeat donors. A total of 95 donations were found repeatedly reactive for HCV (0.068%), obtained from 60 men and 35 women. Noticeably, in despite of a higher HCV prevalence in the donor population, the incidence of HIV among repeat donors was 10 times that of HCV (18 × 1.6/100 000 persons-year, respectively). On average, HIV-seroreactive men were found to be younger (mean = 34 years old) than women (mean = 40 years old). A total of 10 donors acknowledged sexual behaviours not previously informed, including 2 who were aware of their HIV-positive status and another 2 who admitted to be seeking HIV testing. No window period donation was verified.
The majority of the HIV-infected donors are young males who deny risk factors in the interview and also ignore the confidence self-exclusion opportunity. As they may reiterate this behaviour in serial donations, use of the most sensitive laboratory testing is justified in this setting.