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HIV Scare Gets Malaysians Curious About Blood Donation Guidelines

HIV Scare Gets Malaysians Curious About Blood Donation Guidelines

Blood donors must meet the necessary criteria before they can give blood.

Akmal Hakim

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A family’s close call with the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV highlights the importance of Malaysians understanding the guidelines for donating blood.

Twitter user elliexa79 shares the story of how her 21-year-old niece was supposedly called in by the National Blood Centre (PDN) to perform an HIV test after receiving blood donations from a person found to be HIV-positive.

Fortunately, her niece’s tests later came back negative of infection.

Images of the family’s text conversation and the negative HIV test shared on Twitter.
(elliexa79/Twitter)

elliexa79, who requests to remain anonymous, claims that her niece regularly performs blood transfusion treatments for anemia – a condition where the body lacks healthy red blood cells – and was instructed to perform the test as a “precaution”.

She then clarified that PDN had followed all the required procedures and continued to advocate for the public to learn more about the blood donation guidelines we have here in Malaysia.

You can check out the entire thread, on Twitter.

Blood donation guidelines

Here in Malaysia, a donor must meet necessary requirements to be able and allowed to give blood;

  • Possess valid identification – non-Malaysian citizens can donate blonde after one year of residence in the country.
  • A donor must be between 18 to 60-years-old – those below 18 must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian.
  • A donor must weigh at least 45 kilograms and are in good physical and mental shape and possess no medical illness

Those who cannot donate blood in Malaysia;

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Those involved in “high-risk activities” such as homosexual and bisexual relationships, interactions with a commercial sex worker, or have an active sexual lifestyle with changing partners.
  • Taking intravenously injected drugs.
  • People who have stayed in the United Kingdom (England, Northern, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands) or the Republic of Ireland from 1980 till 1996 for six-months or more.
  • People who have stayed in Europe from 1980 to the present day, for a period of five or more years.

Safety assured

More than 80% of the nation’s blood supply comes from Malaysian citizens who donate regularly.

(PusatDarahNegaraKementerianKesihatanMalaysia/Facebook)

PDN conducts quality control and screenings to ensure that blood given by donors is safe to be used for transfusions and remains free from harmful infectious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and Syphilis.

PDN is also making sure that blood donation centres around the country remain operational and safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Call for blood

Due to the pandemic, there has been an urgent call for Malaysians to donate blood and maintain the nation’s blood banks. PDN’s blood collection centres and ad-hoc blood drives in the Klang Valley continue to remain open throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period;

  • National Blood Centre, Jalan Tun Razak
    Monday – Friday: 7.30am – 8pm
    Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 8am – 8pm
  • Puspanita Blood Donation Suite, Presint 10, Putrajaya
    Monday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm
  • Midvalley Donation Suite, Mezzanine Level, Level 3 (Next to Daiso)
    Monday – Sunday: 10am – 9pm

Please note that because of the MCO donors would need to fill out an online appointment form in order to schedule when and where to make donations, directly with PDN, HERE.

For more information, visit PDN’s official website or social media channels.


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