The contribution of unsafe blood transfusion to human immunodeficiency virus incidence in sub-Saharan Africa: reexamination of the 5% to 10% convention
BACKGROUND Historical estimates have attributed 5% to 10% of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to unsafe blood transfusions. Although frequently cited, the validity of this statistic is uncertain or outdated. Recent estimates suggest blood transfusion's contribution to new HIV infections in the region may be much lower. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We searched the peer-reviewed and gray literature for quantitative estimates of the specific contribution of unsafe blood transfusion to the proportion of new HIV infections occurring in SSA. The sources and methods used to generate attribution estimates were evaluated against published country-specific HIV prevalence data. RESULTS Despite multiple secondary citations, a primary published source attributing 5% to 10% of new HIV infections to blood transfusions in SSA could not be established for the current era. The United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) modes of transmission (MOT) reports representing 15 countries suggest that between 0 and 1.1% of new HIV infections per year (median, 0.2% or approx. two out of 1000 new infections each year) may be attributable to blood transfusions. CONCLUSION Recent modeled estimates suggest that blood transfusions account for a very low proportion of new HIV infections in SSA, likely an order of magnitude lower than 5% to 10%. Direct quantification of risk is challenging given the paucity of data on the variables that impact transfusion-associated HIV. Specifically, data on HIV incidence in blood donors, blood bank laboratory test performance, and posttransfusion surveillance are lacking. Findings suggest an urgent need for improved surveillance and modeling of transfusion-associated HIV transmission in the region. Copyright © 2016 AABB.
Does offering human immunodeficiency virus testing at the time of blood donation reduce transfusion transmission risk and increase disclosure counseling? Results of a randomized controlled trial, Sao Paulo, Brazil
BACKGROUND In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in a blood bank in Sao Paulo, we tested the hypotheses that offering client-centered human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing to blood donors would: 1) reduce the risk of HIV contamination in the blood supply by diverting higher-risk, test-seeking donors away from donation and 2) increase return for results and referrals to care. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS We randomly selected weeks between August 2012 and May 2013 when donors were offered HIV counseling and testing (n = 6298), leaving usual procedure weeks as control (n = 5569). RESULTS Few candidate donors chose HIV testing (n = 81, 1.3%). There was no significant difference in herpes simplex virus Type 2 (HSV-2) prevalence (a marker of sexual risk) among donors during intervention weeks compared to control (10.4% vs. 11.1%, p = 0.245). No donor choosing testing was HIV infected, and there was no difference in HSV-2 prevalence between testers and donors (9.9% vs. 10.4%, p = 0.887). Returning for positive results did not differ between testers and donors (three of three vs. 58 of 80, p = 0.386). A higher proportion of donors acknowledged that HIV testing was a strong motivation to donate during intervention weeks compared to control (2.6% vs. 2.0%, p = 0.032). CONCLUSION The evidence of our RCT is that offering HIV counseling and testing at the time of donation would not change the risk of contamination in the blood supply, nor improve results disclosure and referral to care.Copyright © 2015 AABB.