When you Give Blood Is it Tested for HIV?

When you Give Blood Is it Tested for HIV?
When you Give Blood Is it Tested for HIV? (Image: http://www.memorialcare.org)

What Happens to Your Blood After you Donate?

You may have asked yourself, what happens to your blood after you leave the donation center? First of all your blood is tested for any features that may make it useless to the blood bank. This barrage of tests searches for traces of everything from hepatitis to HIV. Once the blood has been cleared it is separated into each of its components. These components are red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Because the blood is separated, not only could you be saving one life, but you could end up saving three people's lives. Once the blood has been separated it is either stored or shipped off to medical centers throughout the country.

Blood Donations and HIV

With the increasing infection rate of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which causes the disease known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), testing blood for this virus has become a necessity. Since one of the main ways that HIV/AIDS can be spread is through an infected individual's blood, each donation undergoes detailed testing to be sure that it is clean of any traces of the disease.

How the Blood is Tested for HIV

When HIV becomes present in an individual's system, the body creates specific proteins to fight the infection. These proteins are called antibodies. HIV creates a specific antibody that is only present in an infected individual. When a blood donation is given, the donation will be thoroughly checked for present HIV antibodies. If the donated blood tests positive for the HIV virus antibodies, the donor will be contacted and will be banned from donating blood in the future.

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