Can People With Hiv Donate Blood

How today’s blood donation policies still reflect 1980s HIV fear

Previously, MSM would face deferral for 12 months and could only donate after a year of abstinence. The reasoning was that this would reduce the risk of passing certain infections, such as HIV, to the recipient. However, this policy discriminated against members of LGBTQIA+ communities. We have a plasma donation program designed just for you and we need patients to participate. Plasma is a vital component in the very test kit that were used in aiding your diagnosis.

When Does Hiv Show Up In Blood Test

Blood banks also ask people if they’ve paid for or been paid for sex in the past three months, and if they’ve used needles to inject drugs or steroids not prescribed by a doctor in the past three months. But in general, straight donors are not asked for details about their sex lives. A straight person who engages in unprotected casual sex could be permitted to donate over a gay or bisexual man in a monogomous relationship.

Donor Information

I would like to be able to do that since I am actually healthy. Some other states permit 16-year-olds to donate as long as they have parental consent. Before donating blood, eat a healthy meal with low-fat content and drink at least 16 ounces of water. Active tuberculosis or any other sickness, you shouldn’t donate blood. That’s because donating blood weakens you, which can complicate your recovery. Only donate blood after fully recovering from any sickness you might have.

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. 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.

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. If a donor has herpes and is taking any kind of antiviral medication for it, most donation centers require that the donor wait at least 24 hours after completing the last dose of medication before donating blood. Most blood donation centers also stipulate that someone infected with herpes cannot donate blood if they are currently experiencing their first ever outbreak of the virus.

What Is The Current Federal Policy On Gay And Bisexual Men Donating Blood

A shortage or change in the size or function of red blood cells. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, fatigue and lack of concentration. At the end of 2018, an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States had HIV, including an estimated 161,800 people as yet undiagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


It is often caused by bleeding, for example from a stomach ulcer or heavy periods. If you are diagnosed as having iron deficiency anaemia, your doctor may recommend supplements or changes to your diet. £5 allows us to reach millions of people globally with accurate and reliable resources about HIV prevention and treatment. Diagnoses in people who inject drugs were rising before the pandemic. Health officials worry now about spread among people who don’t know their HIV status. “Our nation is in a crisis right now and people need help, and this is why the FDA’s policy change is a sign of progress.

The Red Cross says that blood shortages are a constant problem. Pabron added that there are other groups in the U.S. that are more at risk than the LGBT community for HIV/AIDS – and the Red Cross doesn’t screen them out. It should be mentioned that the blood you donate to the Red Cross doesn’t just get shipped off to a hospital to be transfused into a patient. “The reason we can’t consider people who bring in test results from their doctor’s saying that they are HIV negative is because the Red Cross doesn’t accept any outside testing – it all has to be internal,” said Pabron. STD test results are processed typically just hours after collection.

Could I get HIV from donating blood?

Yet blood centers are concerned about the fall, when many school and college blood drives will be cancelled as classes remain online. HIV diagnoses among straight people also decreased by 10%, the CDC says. However, rates of transmission among those who use intravenous drugs increased by 9%.

You may be able to give blood if your health problem is under control. But you shouldn’t donate blood if you feel like you’re getting a cold or the flu. Many people find it difficult to talk about sex, even with the person who is closest to them.

Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced, healthy diet is always a good choice, but its even more important on the days leading up to plasma donation. Make sure to get a good nights sleep before the day of your donation. Drink about 6 to 8 cups of water the day before and day of donating, and eat a protein- and iron-rich meal within 3 hours of donation. If you are high or intoxicated while donating, you could have low blood pressure or hypotension. These sort of conditions will prevent you from being eligible to donate plasma. Research has solidly proved that if people with HIV maintain a fully suppressed viral load thanks to ARV treatment, they cannot transmit the virus sexually.

This means that the transmission of HIV through blood products is very rare, but examples have occurred in some low-income countries which lack the equipment to test all blood. Medical facilities rely on a consistent supply of blood from donors to meet the needs of its patients and to ensure they are prepared for emergencies. Since there is not an artificial substitute for blood, physicians rely on blood donation to save the lives of approximately 4.5 million people each year. Other activities may also require you to postpone your blood donation, such as having a tattoo or body piercing or if you are living with a certain health condition. In most cases, its fine to assume the blood product you are receiving is safe.

It makes up about 55% of the total volume of an individual’s blood. Plasma donation is the process of collecting a donor’s blood, separating the plasma portion of the blood from the blood cells, and then returning the blood cells to the donor. This process takes between 1 to 2 hours and is known as plasmapheresis. Whether the process is painful for you depends on your pain threshold. For some people, donating feels no worse than a pinprick, while others may feel more pain.

Researchers want to know if the blood of recovered patients can be donated to others with severe cases, to help them fight it as well. Female donors must have a hemoglobin level of at least 12.5g/dL and male donors are required to have a minimum level of 13.0g/dL. If your hemoglobin is too low, you will be asked not to donate blood for at least 30 days for both whole blood and apheresis donations. The most common reason for low hemoglobin is iron deficiency, and you will be given information about maintaining a healthy iron balance. To keep the blood supply safe, the FDA has established regulations to screen donors before a donation and to screen donated blood after it has been received by blood banks. To help with this, an extensive questionnaire is given to donors to collect information about their medical history and any risk factors that may exclude them from donating.

Among the donors identified as having HIV, first-time donors and those 45 to 54 years old were more likely to test positive for ARVs compared with repeat donors or younger donors. If you live with someone or have had sex with someone who has hepatitis, you must wait 12 months after the last contact before you can donate. Because viral hepatitis is spread by different means, health authorities have placed the following restrictions on people who may have been exposed to hepatitis B or C.

As an advocate, Fuscarino said, he’s heard from many gay and bisexual men willing to donate blood and plasma — many of whom didn’t know the restrictions still existed until visiting a blood center. With FDA relaxing certain regulations on deferrals, fears may arise about receiving blood from someone with a contagious disease or from dirty needles. Those concerns are unfounded, as donated blood is tested before it is used.

Plasma contains proteins and antibodies and the researchers need those antibodies to create the positive controls to diagnose other patients. Without plasma donors such as yourself these very test kits run a risk of going on back order making a speedy and accurate diagnosis more difficult when physicians or hospitals need the kits to make the diagnosis. HIV is transmitted in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk, so some people are concerned about the risk of HIV when giving blood. However, hospitals, blood banks, and health care providers in the United States are extremely careful.

Visit our platelet donation web page for locations and updated hours of operation. The length of time you must wait between donations depends on the product you are donating, such as whole blood or platelets. The FDA had originally placed a lifetime ban on blood donations for men who have sex with men that was in 1983, two years after the first AIDS patient was diagnosed. 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.

People living with HIV often have slightly lower levels of neutrophils than people who don’t have HIV, but serious neutropenia is rare among people with CD4 counts above 200. Red blood cells transport oxygen around the body, so anaemia can cause symptoms of tiredness and breathlessness. It can be a side-effect of zidovudine, although it is rare among people with CD4 counts above 200. Zidovudine is now rarely used if you are starting HIV treatment. If you are taking zidovudine and develop anaemia you may be able to change to a different drug. But zidovudine is an important drug option for some people, particularly during pregnancy.

At present, the deferral period for MSM in the United States is now 3 months. Below, you will find a list of questions donors frequently ask. The eligibility criteria for donation at the National Institutes of Health Department of Transfusion Medicine reflects local NIH policy as well as national regulations.

Some blood donation centers may also require that a donor be off PrEP for 30 days before donating. The organization selected this time window to allow adequate time to detect potential infections present in the blood. Research notes that this change did not result in an increase in HIV incidence among first-time donors.

The blood is tracked so it can be traced back to the donor and the collection location. First, being on ART and being undetectable are two different things. When you start on ART, it takes a while for the medication to do its job. Generally, if the ART is working, it should reduce the amount of virus in your blood to an undetectable level within a few months.

Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation. Thrombocytopenia caused by HIV can be treated with anti-HIV drugs. If it is caused by other treatments, it is treated by reducing their dose or using other drugs.

Blood donations made in the HIV NAT window period are responsible for most of the residual risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV. Adapted from Busch with permission from the author and publisher. But then one day a doctor saw my lump when I volunteered, she was not sure if I can donate so she rejected me. I was invited to donate blood…i have never donated blood but now since i have been diganozied with NF1 can i??? Though gay men are banned from donating regardless of STD/HIV test results or if they use protection while having sex, heterosexual people with certain STDs are still permitted to donate blood.

In 1983, the FDA initiated the first blood donor deferral policy based on the limited knowledge it had about AIDS at the time. In 1984, human immunodeficiency virus was established as the cause of AIDS. But before the virus was identified, and prior to the approval of tests for HIV in 1985, thousands of blood-donation recipients became infected. So in 1985, the FDA restricted men who have sex with men and people engaging in sex work and intravenous drug use from donating blood indefinitely. Prior to 2015, men who have sex with men couldn’t donate blood at all. Beginning that year, they were allowed to donate only if they hadn’t had sex with a man in one year.