Today is World Blood Donor Day, and with the recent Orlando tragedy, I can't think of a better time to give blood. If you haven't done it before, it's far less intimidating than it sounds. While you should always be aware of the risks involved and ask your doctor if you're eligible, I've given blood many times and always found it a painless, easy, and a rewarding process. And that's even with the fact that I only have veins big enough on one arm so there's always lots of poking and prodding. But it's worth it.
If you've never given blood before, you might be worried about some of the procedures, requirements, or even just the process of how to give blood. There are certain screenings they will do on your blood and certain ones that keep you from being able to donate. One thing you may be worried about is human papilloma virus or HPV, because according to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention, it's the most common sexually transmitted infection. In fact, they say that nearly all sexually active men and women get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. So if you do have it, you are by no means alone.
But can you still give blood? Almost certainly. You can almost always still give blood if you have HPV, but some types of HPV cause venereal warts. If this is the case, it shouldn't be a problem as long as you are feeling well and the warts are intact and not broken, and you're otherwise healthy.
According to the American Red Cross:
Chlamydia, venereal warts (human papilloma virus), or genital herpes are not a cause for deferral if you are feeling healthy and well and meet all other eligibility requirements.
So it's typically not a problem. It is also important to not that, according to the Red Cross, you can still give blood if you've had an HPV vaccine as well. You're good to go.
Giving blood is an amazing way to give back. It doesn't take much time, helps saves lives, and you pretty much aways get a cookie. Do you like cookies? Then check out the American Red Cross site to learn more about where to give blood near you.