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Can I start donating blood again?

Apr 21, 1999

Dear Sir,

I used to donate blood every six months until after I had a severe illness and my doctor though it might be HIV. I need to know if after my 9 month negative test if it is o.k. with good conscience to resume blood donations. I just would be devistated if i donate and later find out I am indeed positive!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question.

If you have tested negative for HIV, and it has been 6 months or more after your last possible exposure to the virus, this indicates that you are not infected with the virus. At 6 months, or anytime thereafter, the tests are more than 99% accurate. This is as accurate as any test in medicine could ever be, and is considered a conclusive test result.

In regard to donating blood again, I suggest that you do not donate again until:

1) Your doctor has said that it is OK for you to do so, and

2) You read through the blood donation questionnaire, and answer all 40 questions honestly. This questionnaire will help determine if you qualify to donate blood or not.

Finally, you can also contact your local blood bank to see if you qualify to donate blood again or not.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

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