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Window Period Infection Risk Low in High-Risk HIV Donors

Last Updated: March 24, 2011.

Among HIV high-risk donors, the predicted risk of window period infection is low and varies significantly according to donor behavior, according to a meta-analysis published online March 2 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

THURSDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Among HIV high-risk donors (HRDs), the predicted risk of window period (WP) infection is low and varies significantly according to donor behavior, according to a meta-analysis published online March 2 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Lauren M. Kucirka, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues quantified the risk of WP infection in each HRD behavior category, from 27 studies of HIV infection prevalence and incidence in HRD populations. For each category of HRD behavior, pooled HIV incidence estimates were used to calculate the risk of WP HIV infection measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and nucleic acid testing (NAT).

The investigators found that WP risk ranged from 0.09 to 12.1 per 10,000 donors for ELISA and from 0.04 to 4.9 per 10,000 donors for NAT, with over 50 percent lower risk in each category when measured by NAT. WP infection as measured by NAT was highest in injection drug users (4.9 per 10,000 donors), and it decreased successively in men with same-sex partners, commercial sex workers, incarcerated donors, donors exposed to HIV through blood, and donors engaging in high-risk sex; the lowest risk was found in hemophiliacs (0.035 per 10,000).

"In this systematic review and meta-analysis of HIV risk among donors classified as high risk for infectious transmission of HIV, the predicted risk of WP infection was low but varied significantly by category of HRD behavior," the authors write.

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