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Bad blood? Survey of public's views on unlinked anonymous testing of blood for HIV and other diseases

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7227.90 (Published 08 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:90
  1. Anthony Kessel, honorary lecturer in public health medicine (anthony.kessel@lshtm.ac.uk)a,
  2. Christopher Watts, director of public healthb,
  3. Helen A Weiss, lecturer in medical statisticsc
  1. a Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
  2. b Directorate of Public Health, Barking and Havering Health Authority, Clock House, Barking IG11 8EY
  3. c Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  1. Correspondence to: A Kessel
  • Accepted 7 November 1999

In 1989 the Department of Health set up the unlinked anonymous HIV prevalence monitoring programme for England and Wales.1 Although support for the programme in the United Kingdom has been generally widespread, concern has been voiced about testing without the individual's explicit consent, and two countries have refused to adopt non-voluntary unlinked anonymous testing programmes for HIV.2 We carried out a survey of the public's views on unlinked anonymous testing of blood for HIV and other diseases.

Participants, methods, and results

Three questions were inserted into the March 1998 Office for National Statistics omnibus survey. Of 3000 addresses selected from the postal address file, 2635 were eligible. Face to face interviews were conducted with one randomly selected person aged 16 or over at 1845 of these addresses, a response rate of 70%. Interviews were preceded by a spoken explanation of unlinked …

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