Risk behaviour among blood donors who give blood in order to be tested for the human immunodeficiency virus

Authors


*Correspondence: Hein Stigum, Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, PO Box 4404 Torshov, 0403 Oslo, Norway Tel.: +47-22-042200 Fax: +47-22-042351 E-mail: Hein.Stigum@Folkehelsa.no

Abstract

Background and Objectives

There has been concern that some individuals may donate blood primarily motivated by the easy access to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, and that such donors may represent a risk to the transfusion service. In this article we focus on the risk behaviour of donors who reported that they gave blood in order to be HIV tested.

Materials and Methods

Anonymous questionnaires were given to 5859 blood donors. The response rate was 70%.

Results

Of the responders, 2·8% reported to have donated blood in order to be HIV tested. However, 87% of the donation-for-test group did not have any identified risk behaviour.

Conclusions

The proportion who donated blood in order to be HIV tested was higher than expected, but the majority of the group did not have any identifiable HIV risk.

Ancillary