Publications & Reports

Compliance with the current 12-month deferral for male-to-male sex in Australia.

C R Seed, T T Lucky, D Waller, H Wand, J F Lee, S Wroth, A McDonald, J Pink, D P Wilson, A J Keller
Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Perth, WA, Australia.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In Australia since 2000, donors are deferred for 12 months since last male-to-male sexual contact. There is no estimate of the prevalence of non-compliance (i.e. failure to disclose a risk during the predonation interview which would lead to deferral) with the policy in Australia; however, published studies elsewhere indicate a range of 0.8-2.3% [corrected]. We investigated the rate of, timing and motivation for non-compliance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A nationally representative sample of donors who had made a recent donation negative for transfusion-transmissible infection testing was surveyed using an anonymous, online instrument. Non-compliance was considered as a ‘yes’ response to the current screening question. Non-compliers were requested to define the timing of the last sexual contact relevant to their most recent donation. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to define factors associated with non-compliance. RESULTS: Of 14 476 responses from male donors, 34 (0.23%, 95% CI: 0.16-0.33%) were non-compliant of whom 24 (0.17%, 95% CI: 0.11-0.25%) had contact within 6 months of donation. Factors significantly associated with non-compliance included: multiple sexual partners, history of injecting drug use, perception of a lack of privacy during interview and preference for a computer-based questionnaire. CONCLUSION: Our study confirms high compliance (>99.7%) to the 12-month deferral for male-to-male sex in Australia providing reassuring evidence for the efficacy of the screening question. Issues of ‘privacy’ and ‘discomfort’ associated with disclosure suggest the use of validated audio computer-assisted structured interview as a possible option for improving compliance with the donor questionnaire.


  • Journal: Vox Sanguinis
  • Published: 01/01/2014
  • Volume: 106
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 14-22