Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Testing Donors of Organs, Tissues, and Semen for Antibody to Human T-Lymphotropic Virus Type III/Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus

The U.S. Public Health Service has recommended that all donated blood and plasma be tested for antibody to human T-lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (1). It is additionally recommended that blood or serum from donors of organs, tissues, or semen intended for human use be similarly tested and that the test result be used to evaluate the appropriate use of such materials from these donors. Although AIDS has not been reported to have been associated with such use, semen and other body fluids, including blood, may harbor the virus. Thus, organs, tissues, and semen obtained from HTLV-III/LAV antibody-positive persons must be considered as potentially infectious. Persons in groups having an increased risk for AIDS should not donate organs, tissues, or semen, regardless of the result of the antibody test; this is the same policy currently followed for blood donations. It is recognized that the circumstances of organ procurement and the logistics of transplantation may in some instances not permit the use of an HTLV-III/LAV test. However, when feasible such testing is prudent. Reported by U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration; National Institutes of Health; Health Resources and Svcs Administration; CDC.


  1. CDC. Provisional Public Health Service inter-agency recommendations for screening donated blood and plasma for antibody to the virus causing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. MMWR 1985;34:1-5.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML documents published before January 1993 are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Page converted: 08/05/98


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 5/2/01