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Living Kidney Donation

Precautions for the Potential Donor

You’ll need to protect yourself from exposure to infections or viruses. By protecting yourself, you’ll decrease the risk of spreading an infection to the potential recipient.


You need to think about protecting yourself if you’re traveling to other countries. Mosquitos can carry many diseases. You may wish to visit a travel clinic before you travel to see if there are precautions you need to take depending on where you’re going.

If you are thinking about traveling before donation, let the living donor program know. Sometimes, surgery will need to be delayed depending on w​here you’ve travelled.

Viruses and Infections

Viruses can be spread to recipients during a living kidney donation surgery. As a potential donor, your blood is tested for viruses at the beginning of the donor evaluation and again within 30 days of surgery. Your blood is tested for common viruses and infections like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis.

Potential donors can lower the risk of infection to potential recipients by:

  • not having any body piercings, tattoos, acupuncture, or electrolysis once the evaluation to become a potential donor starts
  • practicing safe sex, like using condoms, to lower the risk of a sexually transmitted infection
  • letting the living donor program know if you may have been exposed to a virus by accident or through high-risk activity
  • not doing high-risk activities like using illegal drugs

If a potential donor tests positive for a viral infection, this result must be shared with the recipient’s living donor program.​​

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