Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is an endemic condition in Northeast Iran and, as such, identification of risk factors associated with the infection in this region seems to be a necessity. All the possible risk factors for HTLV-1 seropositivity among
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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection is an endemic condition in Northeast Iran and, as such, identification of risk factors associated with the infection in this region seems to be a necessity. All the possible risk factors for HTLV-1 seropositivity among first-time blood donors were evaluated in Mashhad, Iran, during the period of 2011–2012. Blood donation volunteers were interviewed for demographic data, medical history, and behavioral characteristics and the frequencies of risk factors were compared between HTLV-1 positive (case) and HTLV-1 negative (control) donors. The data was analyzed using Chi square and t-tests. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors for the infection. Assessments were carried out on 246 cases aged 17–60 and 776 controls aged 17–59, who were matched based on their ages, gender, and date and center of donation. Logistic analysis showed low income (OR = 1.53, p
= 0.035), low educational level (OR = 1.64, p
= 0.049), being born in the cities of either Mashhad (OR = 2.47, p
= 0.001) or Neyshabour (OR = 4.30, p
< 0001), and a history of blood transfusion (OR = 3.17, p
= 0.007) or non-IV drug abuse (OR = 3.77, p
< 0.0001) were significant predictors for infection with HTLV-1. Lack of variability or small sample size could be reasons of failure to detect some well-known risk factors for HTLV-1 infection, such as prolonged breastfeeding and sexual promiscuity. Pre-donation screening of possible risk factors for transfusion-transmissible infections should also be considered as an important issue, however, a revision of the screening criteria such as a history of transfusion for more than one year prior to donation is strongly recommended.