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conflicting info - nervous about giving blood
Feb 28, 2003

Seem to have conflicting info. Have been told that it's impossible to have an aids/hiv test until 3 months after first having sex with partner. However, what happens if i go to my usual blood donating session - will the blood not be tested for hiv/aids? And if so, how reliable is a test result before the 3 month point? Should I give blood as usual?

Response from Mr. Kull

If you believe that you are at risk for HIV infection, forego donating blood until you know that you are out of the woods. While the screening methods used to determine blood donation safety are accurate, it's not advisable to push the envelope.

Antibody tests are not considered accurate until three months have elapsed since exposure. However, most people will develop a detectable level of antibodies in about one month of infection. The three month guideline is a safety net for outliers. The P24 antigen test is useful in reducing the window period by about a week early in infection, and is used to screen the blood supply. P24 tests are not as reliable after the window period has elapsed.

See Red Cross testing and P24 test for more information about screening the blood supply.

RMK



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