Human immunodeficiency virus antibodies in sera of Australian blood donors: 1985-1990

J. Kaldor, B. Whyte, G. Archer, J. Hay, A. Keller, T. Kennedy, I. Mackenzie, R. Pembrey, B. Way, G. Whyte, P. Woodford, I. Young, T. Vandenbelt

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Objective: To describe the results of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) antibody testing of blood donations in Australia. Design: Blood transfusion services tabulated the number of HIV-1 antibody tests carried out on blood donations and the number of donations found to be positive, from 1985 to 1990. Setting: All blood transfusion services in Australia. Participants: All donors of blood in Australia from 1 May 1985 to 31 December 1990. Outcome measures: The proportion of blood donations found to have HIV-1 antibody, according to State or Territory, year of donation and, when available, age, sex and donation status (repeat or first-time) of the donor. Results: To the end of December 1990, 5367970 donations had been tested for HIV-1 antibody, and 46 were found to have the antibody, giving an overall prevalence rate of 0.86 per 100000 donations. The highest rate was recorded in New South Wales, followed by Western Australia, and four of eight Australian States and Territories reported no donors with HIV-1 antibody. There has been no clear trend with time, but the rate is about 20% higher for 1989-1990 than for 1985-1986. Of donors found to have HIV-1 antibody, 67% were male and 33% female, and 41% reported no known or potential exposure to HIV-1 other than heterosexual contact. Among blood donors in two major Australian cities, the overall prevalence of HIV antibody was higher in those who were male, younger, and first-time donors. There has been a recent increase in the number of blood donors with HIV-1 antibody who were women reporting heterosexual contact as their only potential exposure. Conclusion: The rate of HIV-1 antibody in Australian blood donations remains very low and shows no clear temporal trend, but specific donor characteristics define higher rates of antibody prevalence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-300
Number of pages4
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 1991
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Kaldor, J., Whyte, B., Archer, G., Hay, J., Keller, A., Kennedy, T., Mackenzie, I., Pembrey, R., Way, B., Whyte, G., Woodford, P., Young, I., & Vandenbelt, T. (1991). Human immunodeficiency virus antibodies in sera of Australian blood donors: 1985-1990. The Medical Journal of Australia, 155(5), 297-300.