Febe Renjitha Suman, R Krishnamoorthy, Vinod K Panicker, S Alexander, S Ida
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Background: In India, screening of blood for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mandatory before issue, but the donors are often not informed of their positive status. 1 The positive donors are always kept in dark. Is it essential to inform the positive donor? It is a debate still. Materials and Methods: Sri Ramachandra Blood Bank, Chennai, took the challenge of posttest counseling of blood donors from June 2008. Blood collected from donors were screened for HIV, HBsAg, and HCV. The donors of the blood, which are positive by two different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for any of the above tests, were sent a letter of calling respecting their rights and maintaining confidentiality. Responded donors were given counseling and offered information about confirmation, evaluation, consultation, early treatment, follow-up, contact testing, and transmission prevention. The results were analyzed for a period of 2 years from June 2008 to May 2010. Results: Among the 22,573 donors, 355 (1.7%) were found to be positive in the screening tests. Letters of calling were sent to 310 (87.04%) donors. In all, 218 (70.3%) donors with 7 (87.5%) HIV, 199 (68.85%) HBsAg, and 12 (92.31%) HCV positivity responded. None of the responded donors knew their status earlier. In all, 82 (35%) of them were repeat donors with 201 earlier donations at various blood banks. Conclusion: Posttest counseling of positive donors is essential for the health of the donor and his family, prevention of diseases, improving blood bank economy, and reducing exposure to healthcare workers.
Keywords: Counseling, HBsAg, HCV, HIV, positive donor.