Can You Donate Blood if You Have Herpes – Facts you should know

We commend you for considering blood donation. It is a noble act that can help save lives.

There is a series of questions and doubts when it comes to donating blood, and a common one is – “Can someone with herpes donate blood?” In this article, we are going to walk you through a few facts about herpes so that your question answers itself by the end of the blog.

Table of Contents

What is herpes?

Herpes is a viral disease. It is spread by viruses called Herpes Simplex. There are two common types of herpes today – HSV 1 and HSV 2. HSV 1 is oral herpes, and HSV 2 is genital herpes. Symptoms include sores and blisters in affected areas.

Herpes spreads due to oral secretions (oral herpes) and sexual contact (genital herpes). More often than not, the symptoms are mild, and many people take months to realize they have the disease. A full-blown infection, though, is extremely painful and itchy, and that’s not even the scary part.

The scary part is that herpes has no cure. Modern medicine has a few treatments that can subdue it, though. The virus does not leave the body once it enters. It may remain inactive for months and years until a trigger activates it.

Can you donate blood if you have herpes?

Let’s discuss the real question now. Can people with herpes donate blood? The short answer is yes.

Herpes, as discussed earlier, does not spread through blood. It spreads through oral secretions or sexual contact. So, even if you have herpes, you can donate blood if you wish to. However, many doctors prefer that the infection is not active during blood donation. Also, if you are taking anti-viral medication, you will have to wait for at least 48 hours before you can donate.

Conclusion

When someone has an STD, the fear is real. People with HIV and hepatitis are strictly not allowed to donate blood because these diseases spread through the bloodstream. This has created a stigma that all STDs come under the same category. That’s why when someone has herpes, alarm bells go off. We hope that this article has curbed all your doubts about the disease. Go on! Consult your doctor and donate blood once you get the approval.

Bonus tip for couples – Always, ALWAYS wear condoms if either of you has herpes.

This article was updated on July 14, 2021

Karen

I come from Louisiana, USA, and have been a Sexual Health & Wellness Expert for 4 years now. This blog is my attempt to help those who are too shy to ask questions about things that happen behind the scenes. I understand it can get tough and scary for you and your partner, both. In my blog, I shall answer all your questions and give you advice without you ever having to voice your concerns!