BACKGROUND: Various strategies are implemented to increase blood safety. However, there is always a small amount of residual risk. The amount of risk is associated with the incidence and prevalence of infection in the community. Since increases in the prevalence and changing the pattern of HIV transmission have been observed in the community, monitoring of HIV prevalence among general population and blood donors is necessary. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of HIV in Iranian blood donations. Demographic status and donation type were also investigated in HIV positive blood donors.
METHODS: In the time frame of this study (2008 – 2013), the records of 11,504,231 donations were analyzed and all relevant data were extracted from the central database of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization. Demographic characteristics and type of donations were investigated. Descriptive and analytical statistics were used to summarize the obtained data.
RESULTS: A total of 421 blood donations were HIV sero-positive. Trends in HIV prevalence from 2008 to 2013 per 100000 donations were found as follows: 3.8, 4.3, 3.8, 3.8, 3, and 2.9, respectively. The average prevalence was 3.6 per 100000. The prevalence rate showed a fluctuation from 3.8 to 2.9 per 100000. Gradual reduction has occurred in HIV sero-prevalence but the difference is not statistically significant. The risk of HIV sero-positivity was higher in single and female blood donors. The prevalence of HIV was much higher among donations from first-time than from regular and lapsed donors.
CONCLUSIONS: The low prevalence rate of HIV in Iranian blood donations suggests the effectiveness of current safety strategies. However, implementing new strategies or improving the existing ones are advisable.