In this study we explore the ethical issues around unlinked anonymous testing (UAT) of blood, a method of seroprevalence surveillance for infectious diseases. Our study focused on UAT for HIV, although UAT can be used for other infectious diseases. The objectives of the research were to gain a better understanding of the views of key informants in countries adopting different UAT testing strategies, and to use the findings of the research to inform health policy.
Four countries using different strategies around UAT of blood for HIV (the UK, the USA, the Netherlands and Norway).
Participants from the four countries have different views on UAT of blood, and the approaches and policies on UAT adopted by different countries have been historically and culturally determined. We use our findings to explore the relationship between public health policy and ethics, framing our discussion in relation to two important contemporary debates: informed consent for participation in medical and public health research; and the balance between the individual good and the public good.