All of this sounds frightening, certainly, and blood donors who have been notified that they had a positive screening test for HTLV are often quite alarmed. However, the good news is that this disorder is really uncommon even among those who are truly infected with HTLV-I (which the majority of these donors that test positive on the screening test likely are not). Aside from not being able to donate blood, the vast majority of donors who find themselves in this situation will never have a problem with HAM/TSP. If you are a blood donor who finds yourself in this situation, however, it is best to get advice and evaluation from a qualified health care professional.
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