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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Blood Donors Have to Meet Health Criteria
Lisa Liddane
September 17, 2001
Orange County Register (09.15.01) - Monday, September 17, 2001

Some of the thousands of people who have lined up to donate blood at American Red Cross offices following Tuesday's attack on the United States have found that the agency cannot accept their blood. A history of certain diseases or existing medical conditions can make a person temporarily or permanently ineligible to donate blood. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health.

You must postpone donating blood until a much later date if you: -have had a heart attack in the past six months -have had malaria in the past three years -have visited a malaria- endemic country in the past year -have received blood, plasma or other blood components in the past year -have been tattooed or had a piercing without using sterile, disposable needles in the past year -are pregnant, have given birth, or had a third- trimester miscarriage or abortion in the past six weeks -have had coronary bypass surgery in the past year or have not fully recovered from surgery or are still taking medications for heart disease -have had epileptic seizures in the past three months -have had surgical removal of cancer, or radiation treatment for cancers other than non-melanoma skin cancer, within the past five years -have been exposed to someone with hepatitis in the past year -have been treated for syphilis or gonorrhea in the past year -have had sex with anyone at high risk for HIV and AIDS in the past year -are not feeling well on the day of the donation or have taken antibiotics in the past 72 hours.

You cannot ever donate blood if you: -had hepatitis at or after age 11 -have received chemotherapy treatments for cancer -are at high risk for contracting HIV and AIDS, such as men who have had sex with another man, even once, since 1977; people who have injected street drugs, including steroids, even once; people who have received clotting-factor concentrates; people who have exchanged sex for drugs or money since 1977; people who are HIV- positive -have AIDS or an AIDS symptom.