Objective: To estimate the prevalence and incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) among people at increased risk of infection in Australia; to estimate the residual risk of infection among potential solid organ donors in these groups when their antibody and nucleic acid test results are negative.
Study design: Systematic review and meta‐analysis of reports of the incidence and prevalence of HIV, HCV, and HBV in groups at increased risk of infection in Australia.
Data sources: MEDLINE, government and agency reports, Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine conference abstracts, the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry, and National Health and Medical Research Council grants published 1 January 2000 – 14 February 2019; personal communications.
Data synthesis: Residual risk of HIV infection was highest among men who have sex with men (4.8 [95% CI, 2.7–6.9] per 10 000 antibody‐negative persons; 1.5 [95% CI, 0.9–2.2] per 10 000 persons who are both antibody‐ and nucleic acid‐negative). Residual risk of HCV infection was highest among injecting drug users (289 [95% CI, 191–385] per 10 000 antibody‐negative persons; 20.9 [95% CI, 13.8–28.0] per 10 000 antibody‐ and nucleic acid‐negative persons). Residual risk for HBV infection was highest among injecting drug users (98.6 [95% CI, 36.4–213] per 10 000 antibody‐negative people; 49.4 [95% CI, 18.2–107] per 10 000 persons who were also nucleic acid‐negative).
Conclusions: Absolute risks of window period viral infections are low in people from Australian groups at increased risk but with negative viral test results. Accepting organ donations by people at increased risk of infection but with negative viral test results could be considered as a strategy for expanding the donor pool.
Registration: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO), CRD42017069820.
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