Skip to main content

Find Out if You Can Give Blood

“Without the people who took time to donate blood, I would have died after childbirth. I owe them everything.” Quote from Chandra, a blood donation recipient.

To keep the nation’s blood supply safe and to protect patients and donors, there are some requirements that donors must meet. Generally, donors must:

  • Be 17 years of age or older, or 16 with parental consent.
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds.
  • Be in good health, feeling well, and not taking antibiotics. For example, your blood pressure and temperature must meet medical standards.
  • Have last donated blood more than 8 weeks ago.

Additional Considerations

Some donation centers have additional medical, travel, and lifestyle considerations.

  • Kinds of donations: Height and weight requirements may vary based on what kind of donation you choose (whole blood, platelets, double red cells, or plasma).
  • Travel: If you traveled outside of the United States in the last 3 years, your travel destinations will be reviewed. Travel to certain areas may keep you from donating, depending on current public health concerns.
  • Vaccinations: You may be required to wait a few weeks to donate blood after certain vaccinations. In most cases, you can still donate blood after getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you are symptom-free and feeling well at the time of your donation.
  • Tattoos or piercings: You cannot donate blood if you got a tattoo or piercing in the last 3 months in some states. These states include the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wyoming.
  • Health conditions: People with certain diseases or health conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, malaria) may need to consult with their donation center to discuss eligibility. Additionally, you are not eligible to donate if you received a blood transfusion in the last 3 months.
  • Sexual activity: Under the most recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, people reporting a new sexual partner, or more than one sexual partner, in the past 3 months and anal sex in the past 3 months cannot donate blood.
  • Medication History: FDA guidelines limit donations from people taking medicine to treat or prevent HIV infection, such as antiretroviral therapy (ART), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This is because these medicines may give a false result on the screening test for blood donations.
  • Injection drug use: You must abstain from any injection drug use for at least 3 months before donating blood.

If you have any questions or concerns about your eligibility to donate blood, contact your donation center. Help save the lives of people in your community by donating regularly.

Content last reviewed on