Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
In India, screening of blood for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B surface antigen, and hepatitis C virus is mandatory before issue for transfusion, but donors are not informed of their reactive status. Advising donors who have reactive test results of viral markers is an essential adjunct to blood donor testing and is part of donor care. We realized that donor disclosure is an important public health issue. Therefore, we took the initiative of posttest counseling of blood donors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The donors reactive for any transfusion transmitted diseases by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay in duplicate as well as by rapid tests, were notified of their reactive test results and called for counseling. We tried to maintain confidentiality at each step. Counseling and information about confirmation, evaluation, early treatment and prevention of transmission were given to responding donors.
The results were analyzed for the period from 1st April 2011 to 30th June 2012. Among 15,844 donors, 172 were found to be reactive for various infectious markers. Letters were sent to all reactive donors. Only 60 donors responded and were counseled. The counseling rate was 49%, 45.5%, 50% and 17% for HBsAg, HCV, HIV and syphilis respectively.
This study describes our experience and challenges faced in implementing the program of donor counseling in a resource poor setting.