Australian Blood Donors Surveillance Report 2014

The Annual Surveillance Report on Transfusion-transmissible Infections (TTI) in Australia provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in transfusion-transmissible infections among Australian blood donors. The report aims to provide evidence to inform the ongoing assessment of laboratory testing algorithms for detecting transfusion-transmissible infections as well as evaluation and revision of donor education guidelines for minimising the risk of transfusion-transmissible infections and thus maximising the safety of the Australian blood supply.


Chief investigators
Associate Professor David Wilson
Head, Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health
The Kirby Institute, The University of New South Wales
+61 2 9385 0900,

Dr Clive Seed
Senior Blood Safety Analyst, Donor and Product Safety (DAPS) Policy Unit
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
+61 8 6213 5913,

Key findings
  • Over the period 2005 – 2013, there were approximately 11.3 million blood donations in Australia with an average of 1.25 million donations per year. Total blood donations remained fairly steady with a slight decline in 2013 (0.13%) compared to 2012 reflecting both a reduced clinical demand for red cells leading to fewer whole blood collections, and continued expansion of automated plasma collections to meet an increasing demand for some plasma products, principally intravenous immunoglobulin.
  • First time and repeat donors comprised 16.3% and 83.7% of all blood donors in Australia over the period 2005 – 2013, respectively. As in previous years, this ratio remained relatively stable nationally and across all states and territories. Male donors constitute approximately 49.4% of all donors in 2013.
  • A total of 187 blood donors were detected as having a TTI (hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human T‑cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV), or active syphilis) in 2013. Only one donor had co‑infection (both HBV and HCV positive). More than 90% of these donors were infected with either HBV or HCV. A total of 2,102 TTI‑positive donors have been detected in the 2005 – 2013 period.
  • No transfusion‑transmitted HIV, HCV, HTLV or syphilis infections were reported during 2008 – 2013. Three probable cases of transfusion‑transmitted HBV infection were reported in the 2008 – 2013 period, two in 2009 associated with the same donor and one further case in 2011.