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Can Someone With Hiv Donate Blood

Can I Donate Blood While On Valtrex


The current American Red Cross guidelines do not list Valtrex as a reason not to donate blood. A 2008 Chicago Tribune article said a person should wait 48 hours after taking antiviral medications to donate, but this is no longer reflected in the Red Cross guidelines. Antivirals include valacyclovir, acyclovir, or famciclovir.

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What Happens If We Find A Problem With Your Blood

If you test positive for any of the diseases named above, you will be notified and your blood will not be used for transfusions. In addition, you may be asked to speak with one of our medical professionals at the blood bank and scheduled for a follow-up visit and further testing. Your consent for re-testing will be requested again at that time.

The names of donors with positive test results are kept in confidential files and will not be released without your written consent unless required by law. We will not notify you if your test results are negative and we do not find any problems or if the blood samples we collected were insufficient to provide enough blood to complete laboratory tests.

Asking The Right Questions

Part of the difficulty of introducing an individual risk assessment is making sure that the public are comfortable with personal questions they will have to answer and finding a setting, face to face or online, where those questions will be appropriate, explains Smithson.

“The questions have got to properly assess risk and be acceptable to people at the point where they’re going to donate blood. They might look at, for example, levels of risk between oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex. It’s really important that you get these questions right, as more detailed questions about sexual behaviours could deter some donors,” she says.

“There is a lot of value, potentially, in moving toward this individualised case-by-case risk assessment system but it has to be got right.”

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Why Do They Ask Questions About Sexual Behaviour When Someone Goes To Donate Blood

Blood-borne viruses , such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, can be transmitted via donated blood products if present but not identified. The UK today has one of the safest blood supplies in the world. All donated blood in the UK is screened for BBVs. However, all screening tests have whats called a window period. This is a period of time after someone acquires a BBV where the test won’t show as positive yet. Screening of blood will pick up BBVs as long as the infection was acquired more than three months ago . Therefore, blood donation services want to minimise any risk that someone could have acquired a BBV within the past three months. To do this, questions are asked to potential donors about behaviours where risk of transmission is high enough that this could increase the chances of an undetected BBV being present in the blood. Epidemiological data is used to assess this possible risk.

Tests used in screening have improved in sensitivity over time, meaning it’s much easier to detect viruses tin the blood earlier than it used to be. Because of this, organisations like National AIDS Trust have called for the deferral periods to be decreased to reflect this so that people are not unnecessarily excluded from donating.

Gay and bisexual men, along with other groups, are disproportionately impacted by HIV. This is a significant health inequality that needs to be tackled. The rules around blood donation have also disproportionately affected this group.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Requirements For Donating Blood

Before donating, there are some basic requirements that all donors must meet. Eligible donors will need to:

  • If you have received the COVID vaccine, please wait 3 days before attempting to donate
  • Be at least 17 years old*
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Be in good health generally and feel well on the day of donation
  • Bring a current photo ID on the day of donation

May be eligible if 16 years old, if weight is at least 135 pounds and have signed Parental Consent Form.

Questions About Individuals Diagnosed With Hemochromatosis And Blood Donations

Is it true that individuals diagnosed with hemochromatosis can now donate?

FDA has always allowed individuals diagnosed with hemochromatosis to donate blood. However, FDA is now allowing variances to the requirements that blood establishments 1) label such blood with the donor’s disorder, and 2) have a physician examine the donor at the time of donation if less than eight weeks has passed since the previous donation. These variances are specific for individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis.

The existing regulations require that blood establishments using blood collected during therapeutic bleedings label these units with the disease that necessitated the therapeutic bleeding ) and limit the frequency of whole blood collections ). FDA has the authority to permit exemptions to the blood regulations under the provisions of 21 CFR 640.120, Alternative Procedures.

In August 2001, FDA issued Guidance for Industry: Variances for Blood Collection from Individuals with Hereditary Hemochromatosis providing recommendations to blood establishments that wish to apply for these variances. Refer to the guidance document for the conditions blood establishments must meet in order for us to approve the variance requests. Not all blood establishments have applied for these variances. Ultimately, it is the decision of each blood establishment to apply for any variance.

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About Blood Donation Rules

While all blood donations are screened for HIV before they enter the blood pool, all laboratory tests have a window period in which very recent HIV infections cannot be detected. For the most sensitive RNA assays used by blood collection agencies, this may be between 10 and 16 days. As a result, a small number of infected samples still make it through. Since men who have sex with men have much higher rates of HIV than the general population, regulators have generally asked MSM not to donate blood. Many gay and bisexual men feel that such restrictions are stigmatising and discriminatory.

In 2015, US policy changed from a lifetime ban on donations from any man who reported having sex with another man after 1977, to a 12-month deferral period. This means that men who last had sex with another man more than a year ago are eligible to donate blood, while men who have had sex more recently are not.

The policy remains controversial, with some advocates arguing that more detailed questions about sexual behaviour could be asked of all donors, that the deferral period is far longer than the window period of any test and that restrictions are counter-productive given the shortage of blood donors.

Hesitations Toward Blood Donation

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Although 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 5% do so annually, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Transfusion. Among the commonly cited reasons why people avoid donating is the presumption that they are “medically disqualified” to donate.

Many of these attitudes stem back to the 1970s and 1980s when reports of infection among hemophiliacs given tainted blood fueled fears among donors and recipients alike. During those years, no less than 6,000 hemophiliacs in the United States became infected with HIV, hepatitis, or both.

Although doubts about the safety of the U.S. blood supply have largely subsided due to advances in blood screening, there are some who avoid donating because it may reveal that they havean infection like HIV or hepatitis.

If you have hepatitis and have a type that does not restrict you from donating, it is worth considering given the public need. If you think you might have hepatitiseither due to the presence of symptoms or because of a known exposurebut are fearful of donating because it may confirm your concern, know that the sooner hepatitis is identified, the more sooner you can access treatment that can keep you well and healthy for many years.

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Why Is There A Three

The three-month deferral for someone taking PrEP or PEP is described as precautionary, because there is limited data currently available on the impact on testing. There is a concern that the use of antivirals when or soon after an infection is acquired, may affect the ability of current tests to detect very low levels of virus when a blood donation is screened. There is also a concern that production of antibodies which is also part of routine screening of blood donation may be delayed and give atypical results. This would only be an issue in an extremely rare circumstance where a person was taking PrEP having unknowingly acquired HIV shortly before. In the NHS HIV testing is routine prior to commencing PrEP. More data is being collated in the USA on donation testing and the BHIVA / BASHH PrEP guidelines here in the UK are under a review which will look at the data on HIV testing where HIV could have been acquired while taking PrEP . The effectiveness of PrEP at preventing HIV transmission is not under question. It should also be remembered that those reporting PrEP use will also be subject to other eligibility criteria. Its our view that taking PrEP only decreases the risk of any onward infection as the person is likely to have been protected from HIV for longer and to have been regularly tested. Therefore, wed like to see the rationale reviewed for this as soon as more evidence emerges.

What Were The Rules For Gay And Bisexual Men Before These New Changes And How Have They Changed Over The Years

Currently, until the new rules are implemented, a man who reports that he has had sex with another man in the past three months is not eligible to give blood. This therefore includes gay and bisexual men in ongoing sexual relationships with one other person. These current rules replaced previous rules for a 12-month deferral period. Prior to that men could not donate blood if they reported they had ever had sex with another man, regardless of when the sex was. This was rightly challenged as being discriminatory by National AIDS Trust and many others it excluded a lot of men from giving blood when there was no risk of any BBV having been acquired that wouldnt be picked up in screening.

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Blood Transfusions & Transplants And Hiv


  • In most places in the world the risk of getting HIV from a blood transfusion is very low.
  • International health guidelines state that all blood products must be tested for viruses such as HIV, and in most countries rigorous testing procedures are put in place.
  • In rare cases where blood or blood products, such as a donated organ or tissue, have not been tested, HIV may be transmitted if the donation has come from an HIV-positive individual.
  • You have the right to ask your healthcare professional if a blood product has been tested for HIV or not.
  • You cannot get HIV from donating blood as new, sterile and disposable needles are used.

Blood Donation To Be Made More Inclusive

Are Bans on Blood Donations From Gay Men Outdated or ...

A question on sexual activity of partners in areas where HIV is widespread will be removed from the donor safety check form.

11 October 2021
  • A question on sexual activity of partners in areas where HIV is widespread, including Sub-Saharan Africa, will be removed from the donor safety check form

  • Change is based on recommendation following the latest scientific evidence

  • Changes will have no impact on the safety of blood donated in the UK and will allow more people to make life-saving donations

People who want to donate blood, particularly Black African donors, will be able to do so more easily from the end of 2021.

The government has today outlined plans to remove the question on sexual activity in Sub-Saharan Africa asked in the donor safety check.

Currently, prospective donors are asked if they have recently had sex with a partner who may ever have been sexually active in an area where HIV is endemic, which includes most of sub-Saharan Africa. If they have, the donor will be deferred for 3 months after the last sexual contact with that partner.

This can mean Black African donors and other potential donors in long-term relationships have been unable to donate blood.

The safety of those donating and those receiving blood and blood products remains the governments highest priority.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

The new changes will be reviewed 12 months following implementation by the FAIR steering group and SaBTO.

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Important Information About Your Test Results

The tests performed on your donation have given positive results for the antibodies and the virus particles in your blood, which means that you are infected with HIV. Antibodies are the body’s reaction to infection, but unlike antibodies to other infections, HIV antibody is unable to overcome the virus and eliminate it from the body. Because the virus is also in the blood, it can be passed on to the recipient of blood transfusion. The tests do not give any information about when or how you became infected, or the state of your immune system. The positive test result does not mean that you have AIDS. Other tests must be performed which will give much more information about your health.

Your test results are regarded as strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your consent. However, we could refer you to a hospital or an HIV/AIDS centre for further medical care and treatment. Furthermore, you are infectious to your sexual partner and should seek treatment for both yourself and your partner. If you do not want to, or are unable to inform your partner, the HIV/AIDS centre may be able to help you with that.

We advise you to think very carefully before telling anyone, particularly in the first few days after hearing the news, when the initial reaction may be to take others into your confidence without thinking of the possible consequences.

Can I Get Hiv From Donating Blood

There is no chance of getting HIV from donating blood. New, disposable and sterile needles will be used to collect your blood.

If you suspect that the needle your healthcare professional is using is not new or sterile then ask them to change the needle and check that it comes out of a sealed pack before agreeing to give blood.

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Can I Donate Blood If I Am Hiv Positive

Posted in Advocacy and Medical Care & Treatment on December 3rd, 2013

No. Before giving blood you must fill out a questionnaire that is designed to assess whether you are, have been, or could be at risk of a blood borne disease, including HIV. This questionnaire operates as a statutory declaration and you must sign it to verify the accuracy of the information you have given. Penalties apply if you do not answer the questionnaire truthfully.

Source: HIV/AIDS Legal Centre, Sydney

Annex 5hiv Infection: Information For Blood Donors

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The human immunodeficiency virus is one of the world’s leading infectious diseases, claiming more than 25 million lives over the last 30 years. In 2010, there were approximately 34 million people living with HIV.

Once someone is infected with HIV, it is present in the body permanently. HIV invades white blood cells, called T-lymphocytes, which have an important role to play in the body’s defences against infection and cancer. HIV destroys these cells and, if unchecked, causes the body’s defence mechanism or immune system to fail. This is known as immune deficiency. Failure of the immune system allows infections which are usually kept under control to cause illness, and makes the person more likely to develop certain cancers. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , which can take 1015 years to develop. This stage is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections or other severe clinical manifestations.

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How To Prevent The Virus From Being Transmitted To Others

Blood donation: Unfortunately, you will no longer be able to give blood. Any current sexual partner cannot be a donor either.

Sexual contact: Understanding and practicing safer sex can reduce the risk of passing on the virus. For sex to be unsafe, infected body fluids from one person need to get inside the body of another person, enabling the virus to get into the bloodstream. The body fluids most likely to transmit the virus are semen, vaginal fluids and blood.

This means that the sexual activities most likely to pass on the virus are:

  • Unprotected anal intercourse . This activity carries a particularly high risk and, even with a condom, is still high-risk because of the high failure rate of condoms in these circumstances. This is why the infection is transmitted so easily from an infected man to another man.
  • Unprotected vaginal intercourse .
  • Any activity which draws blood this would include sexual intercourse during the menstrual period.

The infection is passed more readily from a man to a woman than from a woman to a man, but it is recommended that condoms are used with all partners, and consideration is given to other forms of sexual activity which do not allow exchange of infected body fluids. Vaccines against HIV are under development and are being tested in clinical trials, but are not yet available for general use. Immunization of a partner is not currently possible.

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