Can you Donate Plasma if you have Herpes

Can you Donate Plasma if you have Herpes?

Herpes is an infection caused by a virus known as Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Symptoms are usually the appearance of sores or blisters around the mouth or genitals, depending on what type of herpes you have. Then the need for the question can you donate plasma if you have herpes?

There are 2 types of herpes:

  • HSV-1 also known as oral herpes
  • HSV-2 also known as genital herpes

Herpes is an incurable infection, but there are treatments that could be used to manage the symptoms.


Donating plasma is a personal decision and although you could get paid for doing so, it is still a community service as your donation can help people in need of plasma transfusion to live healthier lives. Plasma donation requires a doctor to draw blood from you, extract the plasma from the blood, and return what’s left back into your body through a single needle. It is becoming a popular thing all over the world, however, not everyone is eligible to donate their plasma.


The virus, Herpes Simplex Virus, can be fast-spreading and can be contacted in various ways. Most people get infected by having oral sex with active lesions in their mouth or genitals. So unless you know your partner’s status regarding herpes, you should really abstain from unprotected sex.

Other ways you could get infected with herpes are:

  • Sharing sexx toys
  • Having unprotected sex
  • Sharing sharp objects with an infected person 
  • Having any oral or genital contact with an infected person
  • Mother-to-child. If the woman had active lesions while giving birth, the virus can be passed on to the baby.


The following are the basic criteria that must be met before you become an eligible plasma donor

  • You must be 18 years or above
  • You must not be suffering from any illness
  • You must weigh at least 110lb
  • Must have not had any tattoos or piercings in the past 4 months
  • You must have passed a primary health screening


Plasma donation centers puts in different methods to determine a donor’s eligibility. It is almost the same thing as donating blood, although sometimes there could be exceptions.

Here is a view of what to expect when you go to donate plasma

1. You will be required to answer a series of medical history questions. The questionnaire would ask about your medical history, any current medications, recent surgeries or medical procedures, relevant travel history, and recent tattoos and piercings.

2. You will then complete a health screening exercise to assess your risk for certain transmissible diseases and also to be sure that you pass your blood tests and viral tests. There are two types of tests that could be carried out to check for virus.

Antibody testing: These tests such as Western Blotting and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). This test is carried out to detect antibodies produced by your immune system to fight foreign bodies.

Antigen testing: On the other hand, detects the presence of viral antigens in bodily fluids such as saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. It is carried out using fluorescent antibody staining, radioimmunoassay, and enzyme immunoassay.

3. After you have completely filled out the health questionnaire, and done the health screening tests, a member of a team at the donation center will verify your age and weight. You must be 18 years or above, and weigh at least 110lbs before you can be allowed to donate plasma.

4. Now your vital signs will be checked. Your vital signs include your blood pressure, pulses, and temperature. Whatever readings are obtained provides a peek into your overall health. Your blood pressure should be at least above 90/50 and below 160/100, your pulse should be between 500 and 100 beats per minute when at rest, and your body temperature should not be above 99.5.

5. Before you will be allowed to donate plasma, a small sample of your blood will be required to conduct a hematocrit and total protein test.

The hematocrit test is conducted to measure the percentage of red blood cells in your total blood volume because plasma donation removes red blood cells and iron from your body. So it is important that the percentage of red blood cells in your total blood volume is measured, to be sure that you have enough red blood cells before donation.

Because albumin and globulin are the key proteins found and needed in plasma, a total protein test is carried out to know the total amount of protein in your blood. This test helps doctors to determine or detect any underlying health problems that could make you ineligible to be a plasma donor.

6. If you’ve passed through all the stages above, now the health practitioner in charge would allow you to donate plasma, but as a safety measure, donated plasmas are run by 2 different tests: A nucleic acid test and a viral marker test.

This is the last test that will be conducted and it is essential as the tests are used to scan for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis V, HIV, and herpes, to clear your plasma so it can be turned into medicine.


Yes. In the process of carrying out tests to be sure that you are a fit donor, plasma centers can detect herpes and when they do, they are obligated to inform you immediately. You may be either permanently or temporarily deferred from donating plasma. What this means is that either you will not be able to donate plasma at any donation centers for life, or you will be unable to donate for a certain period, at most 6 months.

Can you Donate Plasma if you have Herpes?


The answer to the question, Can you donate plasma if you have herpes is, Yes, you can donate plasma if you have herpes. Be it HSV-1 or HSV-2, it is generally acceptable as long as:
– Any lesions or actively infected sores are dried and healed before donation day.
– You do not donate until it has been 48 hours since you finished taking any antiviral treatment.

To make sure that these criteria are met before you will be allowed to donate plasma if you have herpes, the donation center will ask you certain questions first. They will inquire about your symptoms. If you have been actively receiving treatments and experience only mild or even no symptoms of herpes at all, you could be allowed to donate your plasma.


Donating blood like plasma is a community service that could help save lives, but there are restrictions on donating blood. When you donate blood, it is tested for

  • Blood type (A, B, O)- Rh type ( positive or negative)
  • Presence of certain viruses, bacteria, and antibodies

If your blood is found to have the following viral infections, you will not be allowed to donate

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDs)
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
  • Hepatitis B or C

However, there are varying timelines for when you can or cannot donate blood if you have a sexually transmitted disease. For STDs such as herpes, you can still donate blood. All you have to do I speak with your local blood bank and ask for specific guidelines and be sure to meet up with any eligibility requirements for blood donation.


Matching donors for a bone marrow transplant is much more complex than matching blood types. Matching is done based on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue type. HLA are proteins or markers that your immune system uses to detect which cell belongs in your body and which does not. Certain HLA are specific for bone marrow transplants.

Medical guidelines have been put in place to help determine if a person is an eligible bone marrow donor. These guidelines are there to protect the health of the donor and the recipient. Certain autoimmune diseases will prevent you from donating bone marrow, however, if you have or had a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia, syphilis, or herpes, you are eligible to register and can be allowed to donate if you pass other eligibility criteria


Can you donate plasma if you have herpes? Yes, you can donate plasma even if you have herpes, but only if you are not having any active lesions and it has been 48 hours since you finished your antiviral treatments.
Several tests will be carried out to be sure that you are a suitable plasma donor and that your plasma is fitting to be used to make medicine.


  1. Can You Donate Plasma If You Have Herpes? | Detail (2022).
  2. What Can Disqualify you From Donating Plasma? (2021).
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