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Correlates of HIV infection among former blood/plasma donors in rural China

Ji, Guopinga,b; Detels, Rogera; Wu, Zunyouc; Yin, Yuepingd

doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000210613.45212.c4
Epidemiology and Social

Background: In 1995, when the first cases of HIV infection were reported among former plasma donors (FPDs), the Chinese government closed all commercial plasma collection stations.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of HIV among FPDs and non-donors in affected villages in Anhui, China.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among residents, aged 25–55 years, in 40 villages randomly selected from villages with many former blood/plasma donors, using a two-stage clustered sampling method. A questionnaire was administered face-to-face to 1997 villagers without collecting any identifying information, and venous blood specimens were collected for HIV testing with two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and western blotting. EpiData was used for data entry, and STATA was used for data analysis.

Results: Overall HIV prevalence was 10.8%, with values of 15.1% among FPDs and 4.8% among non-donors. Among FPDs, factors associated with HIV infection included: donating plasma more than 10 times [odds ratio (OR) 4.09; P < 0.001] compared with subjects who donated 1–3 times; spouse being HIV-positive (OR, 4.06; P = 0.001); and being male (OR, 2.04; P = 0.011). Condom use was rare, and was not associated with HIV infection (OR, 1.09; P = 0.872). Among non-plasma donors, spouse being HIV-positive (OR, 11.07, P < 0.001) and having multiple sexual partners (OR, 7.04; P = 0.006) were associated with HIV infection.

Conclusions: The prevalence of HIV infection is high among rural residents in villages with former commercial plasma businesses. Plasma but not blood donations were associated with HIV infection. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has spread to non-donors primarily through sexual transmission. HIV/AIDS education, testing, and condoms should be promoted urgently to prevent further transmission.

From the aSchool of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

bAnhui Provincial Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Anhui

cNational Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing

dNational Resource Center for Control of STDs & Leprosy, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanjing, China.

Received 8 December, 2004

Revised 23 September, 2005

Accepted 11 November, 2005

Correspondence to Roger Detels, MD, MS, Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Box 951772, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772, USA. E-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.