Herpes simplex virus is also known as HSV is an infection that causes herpes. The virus commonly affects the mouth or genitals. There are two main kinds of herpes simplex virus:
- HSV-1: This virus usually causes oral herpes and is responsible for fever blisters and cold sores around the mouth and on the face.
- HSV-2: This virus results in genital herpes and is the main reason for genital herpes outbreaks.
Both herpes and HPV are sexually transmitted conditions that can impact the mucous and skin membranes. If you are wondering if it is possible to donate blood while infected with HPV or not, then here are certain basic things you must be aware of the condition.
The herpes simplex virus can easily transmit from one person to another via direct contact. Children can also contract the virus from an adult if they are in direct contact with an infected adult. They can carry the virus with them for the rest of their lives.
- HSV–1 – This virus can be contracted from general interactions such as kissing, an infected person sharing lip balm with another person, and also eating from the same utensils. This virus easily spreads when there is an outbreak.
- HSV-2 – This virus can be contracted through various forms of sexual contact with a person who has HSV-2. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, on average, roughly 20 percent of sexually active adults in the United States contract an infection with HSV-2. HSV-2 infections also spread through contact with herpes sore. On contrary, people can contract HSV-1 from an individual who has been infected but is asymptomatic and does not have any sores.
Overview of Herpes and HPV
Both Herpes and HPV virus are two separate viruses with various similarities. Both of them result in lesions in the genital regions. They can be present without resulting in any symptoms. Despite being similar, HPV is more common than herpes.
Signs and symptoms of HPV
Many people who contract the virus never feel or see anything. HPV is one of the most common STIs reported in the USA. There are various kinds of HPV strains and each one may result in different signs and symptoms. A majority of these strains result in no serious health complications. However, some may cause cancer.
There are specific strains of HPV that result in genital warts. These may develop on the scrotum, anus, penis, vulva, vagina, or cervix. They appear soft, fleshy, and pale. The same strains may also result in warts in the throat and mouth which are referred to as oral HPV.
If a person experiences signs or symptoms, they may experience the following signs.
- Itching, tingling, or burning – Before the blisters appear, an infected person would experience tingle, burn or itch for a day.
- Sores – An individual may experience painful, fluid-filled blisters that can break open and ooze fluid. The first time an infected person starts noticing sores, they will show between two to twenty days after a person has come in contact with an infected person. The sores can last anywhere between 7 to 10 days.
The other symptoms noticed in case of herpes infection around the throat, lips, and mouth are
- Symptoms such as swelling of lymph nodes and headache
- Itching, redness, swelling, and pain at the site of blisters
- Cold sores around the mouth and fever blisters
- Formation of fluid-filled blisters beneath the lips or nose
The region where the sores appear often varies with the kind of virus one has contracted.
- Oral herpes (HSV-1): Most blisters show up on and around the lips. Sometimes the blisters appear on the tongue and the face. Although these are the most common places with the symptoms appear, you can find the sores appear anywhere on the skin if you have been infected with the virus.
- Genital herpes (HSV-2): In case of infection with HSV-2, the sores typically show up on the vagina, penis, anus, or buttocks. Women can experience sores inside the vagina. These sores can show up anywhere on the skin.
Symptoms resembling flu-like conditions such as fever, chills, headache, and swollen glands:
- Painful and burning urination
- Leg pain or lower back
- Red bumps or blisters that may ooze on the genitals
- Pain and itching around the genitals
- Burning sensation or tingling around the site of blisters
Both herpes and HPV remain dormant in the body which is when the infection remains in the body without producing any symptoms.
How are Herpes and HPV transmitted?
Both HPV and herpes are transmitted when one comes in contact with the skin of an infected person. This can occur during any sexual activity. You can also contact HSV while
- Sharing utensils or drinking glasses
- Sharing lip balm with an infected person
- Sharing lip balms
Who is at the risk of contracting herpes and HPV?
All individuals who are sexually active are at the risk of getting STIs including herpes and HPV. People with weakened or suppressed immune systems are also at an increased risk.
Treatment of HPV and Herpes
In a majority of the cases, the condition does not require any special treatment as the virus goes away on its own. However, there are also certain medications available for treating the signs and symptoms.
There is no exact cure available for herpes as of now. However, there is various treatment procedures available that will help you deal with the symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe you antiviral medicines for relieving the symptoms or for reducing the frequency of the outbreak.
What to consider while donating blood with herpes?
If you are wondering whether you can donate blood or not while being infected with the herpes virus, then here is everything you must be aware of. Generally, there is no restriction over donating blood for people with herpes. However, it is best to refrain from donating blood during the primary outbreak of the disease. This is because there could be a small number of viruses that can enter your blood when initial symptoms show up.
Furthermore, blood donation is not actually advised during any illness such as flu or a primary outbreak of herpes. Whenever you are ill, your body is busy fighting off an infection. Hence, donating blood during such time can strain your body further and impact your pace of recovery. It is absolutely fine to donate blood during a recurrent outbreak of herpes if you feel perfectly healthy. As per guidelines released by the American Red Cross, people with genital or oral herpes can donate blood if they otherwise feel healthy and fulfill other eligibility criteria.
Can you donate blood if you have HPV?
Since the transmission of HPV does not occur through the blood, it is completely safe to donate blood despite being infected with HPV. According to the American Red Cross guidelines, people with venereal warts or genital warts due to HPV can donate blood if they are feeling healthy and fulfill all the eligibility criteria for blood donation.
Here are some of the standard eligibility criteria for blood donation:
- You can donate blood every 56 days
- You must be weighing at least 110 lbs.
- You must be at least 17 years old
- You should be feeling well and in good general health
Donating blood with herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 is accepted generally as long as
- Infected sores or lesions have turned dry and are close to being healed
- You have waited for at least 48 hours after finishing your course of treatments with antivirals
This is true in the case of several viral infections. As long as you are not infected with the virus actively, you are free to donate blood. It is essential to remember that if you have been affected with a herpes infection in the past, you can still carry the virus despite not having any symptoms.
Can you donate plasma if you have herpes?
Donating blood plasma is similar to donating blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. About 55 percent of our blood is plasma and the rest 45 percent are red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets suspended in the plasma. Plasma comprises about 92 percent water and about 7 percent vital proteins such as gamma globulin, albumin, 1 percent mineral salts, vitamins, hormones, fats, and sugars.
Plasma serves four major functions within the body. It helps in maintaining blood volume and pressure. It also facilitates the supply of critical proteins essential for the clotting of blood and for boosting immunity. Plasma also carries electrolytes such as potassium and sodium important for muscles. It also assists in maintaining proper pH balance within the body which promotes cell function.
What is plasma used for?
Plasma is generally used to shock, burn, and trauma patients. It is also given to people with severe liver disease and multiple clotting factor deficiencies. It helps boost the patient’s blood volume which can prevent shock and also helps with blood clotting. Pharmaceutical companies use plasma to develop treatments for conditions such as bleeding disorders and immune deficiencies.
What exactly is plasma donation?
Whenever an individual is donating plasma, the liquid portion of the blood plasma is separated from the cells. The blood is drawn from one arm and is sent into a high-tech machine that collects the plasma. The donor’s red blood cells and platelets are then returned to the donor along with some saline. The entire process is safe and takes just a few minutes.
The plasma that one donates can be frozen within 24 hours for preserving its clotting factors. Also, it can be stored for up to one year and is thawed for enabling transfusion to a patient whenever required.
Who is eligible to donate plasma?
Individuals with type AB blood need to consider donating plasma. This is because this is the only universal plasma that can be given to patients of any blood type. This also implies that transfusions can be done immediately without losing any precious time in determining whether the blood type of the donor and the patient are compatible or not. In case of emergency care such as in case of burns and trauma, saving time is matter of life and death. Type AB plasma donations also referred to as AB Elite and can be made up to 13 times in a year.
Donating plasma with herpes
Now that you know that plasma is an integral component of your blood, the same rules are applicable if you have herpes if you have been infected with HSV-1 and HSV-2. You should refrain from donating plasma if you have any lesions or sores that have been infected actively. Wait until the condition is completely dried and healed. The general rule is that you should wait for at least 48 hours before taking any antiviral treatment.
Can you donate blood if you have HPV?
Maybe! You need to ask the medical professional if you are eligible for blood donation or not. It is inconclusive whether you can donate blood if you have HPV. Human papillomavirus is a serious infections condition that results due to a virus. HPV is the most commonly spread via skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the virus.
There are over 100 kinds of HPV and many of them transmit during intercourse. Some cases are temporary and the symptoms disappear without any treatment. Traditionally, it is considered that you are eligible for blood donation even if you have HPV as long as the infection is not active. This is when the virus is believed to get transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
In a 2019 study done on HPV in rabbits and mice, it was found that the researchers found that animal subjects who did not have any symptoms could still spread the infection when they were carrying the virus in the blood. More research is still required to verify whether HPV can spread through blood.
Even if HPV is spread through a donation it may not be a type that is dangerous or it could be a type that will eventually go away on its own. You should consult a doctor if you are not sure whether it is okay to donate blood if you are suffering from HPV.
When you cannot donate blood?
If you are still not sure whether you can donate blood or not because of any limitation or any condition, then it is always best to go through the standard guidelines provided.
- Make sure you are 17 years old and have the approval of your parents
- You must be weighing at least 110 pounds irrespective of what your height is
- You must not have had Hodgkin’s disease, lymphoma, or leukemia
- You must not have had a dura mater transplant done or if somebody in your family has the CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease)
- You either have sickle cell anemia and hemochromatosis
- You have HIV or jaundice or Hepatitis B
- You are sick and recovering from any illness
- If you have a fever or are coughing up phlegm
- You have had Zika or Ebola infection at any time in your life
- You are taking narcotics for pain and antibiotics for a bacterial illness
- You are on blood thinners currently
- You have received a blood transfusion in the previous year
When you donate plasma do they test for STDS?
Each time you perform blood donation, the samples are taken and a range of screening tests are performed on these in the laboratories. Most of the tests done are mandatory and must be carried on every single donation to ensure the safety of the patient to whom the blood is being transferred. The tests play an important role in ensuring a safe blood supply to patients. The tests are performed to check the blood group and to choose the right group before transfusion.
Furthermore, the test is done for infections that can be passed on from donor to patient via a blood transfusion process. The tests are done with the aid of computer-controlled automated machines which can test various samples easily and conveniently. If the test results indicate that you are not eligible for blood donation, then you would be informed of the same.
While checking blood group, usually a test is conducted for the following infections: Syphilis, Hepatitis B, HIV, Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis E virus, and Human T-lymphotropic virus. Additional tests such as Malaria, T-Cruzi, West Nile Virus, and Cytomegalovirus.
Any blood sample provided will be sent to laboratory screening tests. If you donate blood and become unwell in two weeks following the donation, then it is your responsibility to inform the organization you donated blood to. They will make sure that they perform all screening tests before using the sample for transfusing blood to any patient.
If you have concerns about whether you are eligible for donating blood with herpes or not, then this guide will surely help you in making the right move. Donating blood is considered to be a crucial service in the medical field as millions of people requires fresh blood every day. You can donate blood even if you have herpes. However, there are certain conditions associated with it. You need to make sure that you are not having an outbreak of symptoms and you must also make sure that you have waited for 48 hours after completing your prescribed course of antiviral treatment.
Herpes and HPV are very common conditions that are very common in the United States. The infection spreads through skin-to-skin contact that may occur during sexual activities. If you are wondering if are eligible for blood donation if you have a herpes infection, then the answer is yes. You can donate blood with herpes if you are feeling totally healthy and also fulfill other eligibility criteria for blood donation.
You can get in touch with your doctor or the local blood bank to learn if there would be any impact on the patient due to your condition or how for learning how healthy or safe your blood is.