still not eligible to donate blood…because why? Research suggests that relapse is very rare so why does the American Red Cross (link) reject potential blood donors who have ever had HCV?
They write (updated: 08/03/2016):
Hepatitis caused by Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus can be easily transmitted from donors to patients through transfusion. It is possible for a donor to carry a hepatitis virus even though he has never been sick with an inflamed liver, and he feels entirely well at the time of donation.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are transmitted between people through sexual contact and blood-to-blood contact, such as occurs when needles are shared during IV drug use. Hepatitis viruses can also be transmitted from mothers to their unborn babies. However, many people who have hepatitis virus infection cannot determine how they became infected…
…All blood donations are tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C with several different tests. But because these tests are not perfect, it is still important for people who may be infected with hepatitis viruses to not donate blood. In some cases, all that is required is a waiting period after some particular event, such as an exposure to a patient with hepatitis, to be sure the person was not infected. In other cases, the likelihood of hepatitis is high enough that the person is not eligible to donate regardless of how much time has gone by.
If you had hepatitis…caused by a virus, or unexplained jaundice, since age 11, you are not eligible to donate blood.
But not only that, they say that you are essentially exposed if you LIVE with, OR have sexual contact,with a person who has hepatitis, “you must wait 12 months after the last contact..”
What gives? A partner, spouse , child or roommate, has to MOVE OUT of the shared living space for 12 months, prior to donating blood. Harsh policy since we told that sexual contract among monogamous couples is extremely rare. (And what types of sexual contact are they alluding to? Does a kiss count?)
He’s been SVR since late 2004. By American Red Cross rules, I have been exposed (blood-to-blood) to HCV in the same way an accidental needle stick in a health care setting can occur even though a lot of “time has gone by.”
Should I get re-tested for HCV again post-stick? I was tested in 2004 and again in 2015, when Medicare made the screening free for all boomers. Again, I was safe. Will my doctor recommend another test due to this incident when I see her next? If she doesn’t, should I insist?
SVR–You’re fine; SVR–no, you’re still dangerous to others. What does the science really say. How “not perfect” are the tests?