Special considerations for blood donation

Travel and Residence Outside the United States or Canada

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes found in certain countries, and may be transmitted to patients through blood transfusion. Blood donations are not tested for malaria because there is no sensitive blood test available for malaria.

Malaria transmission can occur through travel and residence in some areas. This exposure can sometimes defer donors from blood donation. If you have traveled and/or resided outside of the United States and Canada, your travel destinations will be reviewed during the screening process with trained collection staff.

If you have traveled or lived in a country with malaria risk, we may require a waiting period before you can donate blood. This is because the disease can be transmitted from a person without symptoms. Potential donors who have visited and stayed overnight in a malaria risk area are deferred from giving blood for 3 months from the date of that stay. Potential donors who have lived in a malaria risk area are deferred for three years from the last date of residence.

Your donation is important to us; please fill out Travel worksheet with your travel details when you donate. You may print the Donor Travel Worksheet and bring it with you to help in the assessment of your travel. You can call our Contact Center at 800-398-7888 about your travel if you need assistance.

Information for All Donors About AIDS

The FDA requires all donors be given information on AIDS each time they donate blood. Please read this information carefully, even if you are a frequent donor, as some of the details may have changed since the last time you donated. Thank you for your cooperation.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is caused by HIV. HIV is spread mainly through sexual contact with an infected person OR by sharing needles or syringes used for injecting drugs.

HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors and Symptoms


  • The signs and symptoms of “AIDS” include the following:Persons with clinical or laboratory evidence of AIDS virus infection.
  • Have signs and/or symptoms of “AIDS” include the following: Persons with clinical or laboratory evidence of AIDS virus infection.
  • Are male and have had sexual contact with another male in the past 3 months.
  • Used intravenous drugs not prescribed by your doctor in the past 3 months.
  • Have engaged in sexual activity for money or drugs in the past 3 months.
  • Have engaged in sexual activity with any person meeting the above descriptions in the past 3 months.
  • Have had or have been treated for syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 3 months.
  • Have persistent night sweats, cough, shortness of breath or diarrhea.
  • Have unexplained continuous fevers (Temperature greater than 100.5° F) for more than 10 days.
  • Have unexplained weight loss of more than 10 pounds.  Have had swollen lymph nodes lasting more than one month.
  • Have purple spots typical of Kaposi’s sarcoma, on or under the skin or on mucous membranes.
  • Have persistent white spots or unusual blemishes in the mouth.

If you have experienced any of these signs or symptoms or if you have engaged in the previously defined high risk activities in the past 3 months, please notify the individual in the screening room and do not donate blood.

If, after donating, you think of any reason that your blood should not be used for transfusion, please phone the Bloodworks Northwest as soon as possible so that your blood can be discarded. You will be given post donation instructions and phone numbers for the Blood Center after you donate blood.

If You Want an AIDS Test

You should not donate blood just to get an AIDS test. If you want to be tested for AIDS, you must not donate blood. For information on testing and locations, you can contact the following:

  • Your local health department.
  • The National Information Line for AIDS: 1-800-342-AIDS
  • Your own physician

Information about Novel Coronavirus

Your gift of blood, time or money saves lives.