Blood and Plasma Donations Among a Cohort of Intravenous Drug Users

Kenrad E. Nelson, David Vlahov, Joseph Margolick, Marie Bernal, Ellen Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We evaluated the blood and plasma donation histories of a cohort of 2921 intravenous drug users in Baltimore, Md, and correlated these histories with their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) serologic status, numbers of CD4 lymphocytes in the peripheral blood, and stigmata of intravenous drug use (scarred veins). Of the 793 intravenous drug users (27.1%) who had donated blood or plasma, 652 (82.2%) donated after they had started using intravenous drugs. Most subjects donated at commercial plasma centers, where they were paid $10 to $15 per donation. Although the HIV-1 seroprevalence of the entire cohort was 24.1%, the HIV-1 seroprevalence among those reporting plasma or blood donations declined progressively with time, from 17.1% in those who last donated in 1985 to 3.6% in those who last donated in 1988-1989. Many of the 437 intravenous drug users who had donated plasma or blood since 1985, when screening for HIV-1 was initiated, had not been notified and counseled about their HIV test results. Current programs to exclude individuals with a history of intravenous drug use from the plasma donor pool should be reevaluated and improved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2194-2197
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume263
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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