BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands men who have had sex with men were permanently excluded from donating blood or blood products. This study aimed to determine the rate of not disclosing male-to-male sex (noncompliance) among Dutch donors and reasons for noncompliance.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Invitations to participate in an anonymous online survey were sent out to a sample of the Dutch donor population (50,000 male and 5000 female donors). Male donors were asked if they ever had sex with a man. Second, a definition of male-to-male sex was given, followed by the same question. Donors who reported to have had male-to-male sex on the second question were defined as noncompliant and were asked what reasons they had for not reporting. We asked all donors questions regarding the Dutch donor policy.
RESULTS: A total of 18,137 male donors responded to the questionnaire. Of male donors, 1.4% reported to have had sex with a man, and 0.7% reported to have donated after their first male-to-male sex. Discrepancies were found in male donors' interpretation of male-to-male sex. The most frequently reported reasons for noncompliance had to do with the timing and/or frequency of male-to-male sex, perceived privacy, perceived risk status, and knowledge about the policy. Compliers, noncompliers, and female donors had different opinions on a number of policy issues.
CONCLUSION: The percentage found for noncompliance is similar to percentages in other compliance studies worldwide. Based on reported reasons, a substantial amount of noncompliers would become eligible for donating under a revised policy, possibly without jeopardizing blood safety.
- TRANSFUSION-TRANSMITTED HIV
- EVER HAD SEX