The Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II) is currently monitoring more than 50% of the U.S. blood donations. From 2010 to 2013, donors completed a questionnaire to characterize their motivations for donating blood. A total of 1,587 donors who had a false positive test for either human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) were compared to 1,002 donors who were truly positive for HIV, HTLV, HCV, or HBV. Over 90% of both groups donated blood “to help someone in need.” For each infection type, donors with true positive cases were more likely to report “test seeking” behavior (18-22% vs. 9.0%; P<0.01), but this was not statistically significant for any infection type after adjusting for demographic characteristics. Among the HIV positive cases, 13% thought donation screening policies were unfair mainly due to the deferral policy for men who have sex with men. Study results are reassuring for motivations to donate blood and provide a baseline for future studies to assess the risk of non-compliance for deferral policies.
Vahidnia F, Stramer SL, Kessler D, Goncalez TT, Shaz BH, Leparc G, Krysztof DE, Dodd RY, Glynn SA, Custer B, Nhlbi Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study I. Motivations for donating and attitudes toward screening policies in US blood donors with viral infection. Transfusion 2016.