Is sexual risk behaviour associated with an increased risk of transfusion-transmissible infections in blood donors from Western and Pacific countries? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, Belgian Red Cross, Mechelen, Belgium. Cochrane Belgium, Belgian Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Cebam), Leuven, Belgium. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Blood Services, Belgian Red Cross, Mechelen, Belgium. Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Belgian Red Cross, Mechelen, Belgium.

Vox sanguinis. 2019
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES The donor medical questionnaire is designed to aid blood establishments in supporting a safe blood supply. According to blood donor deferral policies, sexual risk behaviour (SRB) leads to a (temporary) deferral from blood donation. This systematic review aimed to scientifically underpin these policies by identifying the best available evidence on the association between SRB and the risk of transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs). MATERIALS & METHODS Studies from three databases investigating the link between SRB (excluding men who have sex with men (MSM)) and TTIs (HBV, HCV, HIV, Treponema pallidum) in donors from Western and Pacific countries were obtained and assessed on eligibility by two reviewers independently. The association between SRB and TTIs was expressed by calculating pooled effect measures via meta-analyses. The GRADE methodology (Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) was used to assess the quality of evidence. RESULTS We identified 3750 references and finally included 15 observational studies. Meta-analyses showed that there is a significant (P < 0.05) positive association between the following SRB and HBV and/or HCV infection: having sex with an intravenous drug user (high-certainty evidence), receiving money or goods for sex (moderate-high certainty evidence), having a sex partner with hepatitis/HIV (moderate-certainty evidence) and paid for sex or anal sex (low-certainty evidence). CONCLUSION Sexual risk behaviour (including having sex with an intravenous drug user, receiving money or goods for sex or having a sex partner with hepatitis/HIV) is probably associated with an increased risk of HBV/HCV infection in blood donors from Western and Pacific countries.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine