No longer banned!

December 29, 2020


Here’s my funny story that’s not actually funny.

One of the surprise blessings of this pandemic is that I had time during the day to go to attend blood drives. In fact, during the first week we were closed to families, I went across the street to the Nebraska Community Blood Bank drive that was right across the street at the church. I even videoed parts of it for my ‘school at home’ lesson.

A few weeks later I joined Lloyd for an American Red cross blood drive. Not many people were there, but the music was good and the company was better.

Sometime this fall I signed up for another Nebraska Community Blood Bank drive for late in the day. A few days later I got a voicemail and also an email telling me that I was on the ‘permanently deferred’ list and I should contact them. When I did, they said that something had shown up on a previous test and…. “Did you get a letter from us regarding this?”

“When?” I asked.


They were just getting around to cross-checking current donors with their maiden names. Apparently, I had a red flag on my file, but they couldn’t say what it was. I asked if I had hurt anyone with my donation, but was assured that they test every batch before it goes out. They said they’d get to the bottom of it.

Now I have my answer! Apparently, back in 1990, I tested positive for HIV. FALSELY tested positive for AIDS. Let’s be perfectly clear: FALSE POSITIVE. I laughed and laughed when I got the letter. My immune system must be pretty incredible, huh? Also, after reading the test results from my March donation, I now know lots and lots of test codes. I tested negative for HIV, hepatitis B and C, Zika virus and a host of others. Go, me.

Bring on the blood drives!

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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5 Responses to “No longer banned!”

  1. Deborah Said on:

    You are no longer in the Bad Blood Club. I can’t give at Red Cross because I had cancer 10 years ago. But I can give at the Nebraska Blood Bank. Weird.


  2. Brad Said on:

    Congrats on being cleared for donation! May you have many experiences free of pass-outs.


  3. Kris Said on:

    I had a false negative test HIV test back in the day too (you’re the only other person I’ve heard say that), but apparently they never flagged me, because I’ve been able to give blood. So strange.


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