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September 12, 1986

The Effectiveness of Voluntary Self-Exclusion on Blood Donation Practices of Individuals at High Risk for AIDS

Author Affiliations

Upper Savannah Health District Greenwood, SC
Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health Baltimore

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1292-1293. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100066013

To the Editor.—  As of Jan 13,1986, two hundred sixty-one cases of blood product transfusion-associated acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been reported in the United States.1 In March 1983, the American Red Cross joined with the American Association of Blood Banks and the Council of Community Blood Centers in requesting that homosexual men at risk for AIDS voluntarily exclude themselves from blood donation.2 Because of the long latency period of human T-cell lymphotropic retrovirus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV), it has been difficult to determine the effectiveness of this request for voluntary selfexclusion prior to the introduction of routine screening of all donated blood for antibodies to HTLV-III/LAV.As part of an ongoing study, we retrospectively reviewed blood donation records in the New Orleans metropolitan area to determine if any of 187 persons who had been diagnosed as having AIDS or AIDS-related complex (ARC) had donated blood between January