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David J. Malebranche, MD, MPH, is a board certified Internal Medicine physician, researcher, and public health activist with expertise in HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) prevention and treatment, racial disparities research, and LGBT health.

He has published over 50 articles in medical/public health journals and is known as a dynamic speaker worldwide. In 2015 he authored a memoir about the lessons he learned from his father entitled Standing on His Shoulders, and he can also be seen on the Greater Than AIDS campaign “Ask the HIV Doc” series on YouTube.

Dr. Malebranche currently resides in Marietta, Georgia, where he works in correctional health.

Read more about Dr. Malebranche here. 

Dr. Malebranche answers your questions below:

Can I have my own blood drawn and saved for my own future use? If so, for how long can it be saved?

I don’t know if you can do this – but people who don’t believe in getting transfusions for religious reasons do take their own blood for “auto transfusions” – speak to your doctor about this.

Tom, I was told by the blood bank in my town that I can never give blood again because I was stationed in Germany in the late 80’s and early 90’s when they had a case of mad cow disease. Now mind you, before I retired and moved back to Illinois I gave blood all the time. I want to ask the doctor is this a real concern?

It’s a real thing that was an issue back then, but similar to the policies on HIV, its based on old science and data. It needs to be updated. They are still denying people from donating today for this which is ridiculous.

I can’t donate 2 OneBlood (FL) because I took HCG (human growth hormone) injections from a non-MD. Can I overturn this lifetime ban? I’m a straight female. 

Yeah this is due to the potential risk from getting injections and risk of exposure to HIV that way. We have to be vocal locally and nationally to get this screening updated.

I’m a VIP blood donor whose blood is used for a sickle cell patient. Dr., are there any statistics that show how much of donated blood carries HIV? I think better safe than sorry. There are a series of questions that we all my find offensive but they must be asked for safety.

While that is true, given the current testing procedures for HIV, with donated blood, the risk for transmission is only 1 in 1.5 million

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