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Transfusion. 1998 Mar;38(3):279-84.

Risk factors for HIV seropositivity among first-time blood donors in Zimbabwe.

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  • 1Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



Factors associated with an increased likelihood of HIV infection among newly recruited blood donors in Zimbabwe are identified. Their feasibility as criteria for exclusion from donation is assessed.


A self-administered survey including demographic and behavioral questions was completed by 1199 first-time, volunteer blood donors in Harare, Zimbabwe. Methods for subject recruitment and laboratory screening followed usual blood bank protocols.


Fifteen percent of subjects were HIV positive. Factors significantly associated with HIV seropositivity at the p<0.05 level included recruitment venue, age, marital status, donor residence, residence of primary partner, occupation, history of sexually transmitted disease, and condom use. An exclusion strategy based on donor age, condom use, recruitment venue, sexually transmitted disease history, and residence of primary partner would exclude a large proportion of HIV-infected donors without substantial loss of uninfected donors.


Exclusion of donors who are likely to be infected with HIV is a sound policy for improving blood safety and reducing operating costs worldwide. Identification of efficient donor selection criteria requires knowledge of the local epidemiology of HIV infection and the asking of questions that are likely to be answered accurately.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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