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Association between Blood Donor's Socio-demographic Profile and their HIV Risk Status based on the Donor History Questionnaire; A Cross-Sectional Study of 5967 Filipino Blood Donors

Ma. Angelina L. Mirasol, Godofreda V. Dalmacion, Norma Ona, Eufrosina Melendres and Emmanuel S. Baja

Background: Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) through blood transfusion is currently a public health issue in the Philippines. This study examined which socio-demographic characteristics of blood donors are associated with a high-risk status for transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) based on the Donor History Questionnaire (DHQ) and compared the risk status of the donor with their actual HIV status.
Methods: A total of 5967 potential blood donors were assessed for their eligibility as a donor and the risk status (high vs. low) were ascertained using the DHQ. HIV screening and confirmatory testing for all donor-respondents, regardless of risk status, was done to compare their risk status with their HIV status. Socio-demographic characteristics were collected and linked with the risk status of the donor. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to explore the associations between various socio-demographic characteristics and risk status of the blood donor.
Results: Twenty three percent (1400/5967) were categorized as high-risk group and 77% as low-risk group. Only 36% (500/1400) from the high-risk group consented while all the low-risk group donors agreed for HIV screening and confirmatory testing. Thirty from the low-risk group turned reactive during HIV screening but only three were confirmed to have HIV. Males [Odds Ratio (OR), 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 1.35 (1.06–1.75)], or who are older than 30 years old [OR (95%CI): 1.53 (1.26–1.87)], were likely to be classified as high-risk while repeat donors [OR (95% CI): 0.63 (0.53–0.77)] were less likely to be classified as high-risk based on the DHQ.
Conclusion: Males or who are older than 30 years old are more likely to being classified as high-risk donors. About 7 out of 10,000 blood donors who were classified as low risk based on the DHQ could be positive for HIV. Mandatory screening of all blood donors for HIV should be maintained in the Philippines.