Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

AMSSM Position Statement Update

Blood-Borne Pathogens in the Context of Sports Participation

McGrew, Christopher MD*; MacCallum, Daisy-Scarlett MD; Narducci, Dustymarie MD; Nuti, Rathna MD; Calabrese, Leonard DO§; Dimeff, Robert MD; Paul, Stephen MD; Poddar, Sourav K. MD**; Rao, Ashwin MD††; McKeag, Douglas MD‡‡

doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000738
Position Statement: PDF Only

Abstract: This AMSSM position statement update is directed toward health care providers of patients involved in sport and exercise. There have been significant advances in clinical and scientific research in the understanding of blood-borne pathogens (BBPs), and this update incorporates these advancements. This document is intended as a general guide to clinical practice based on the current state of evidence, while acknowledging the need for modification as new knowledge becomes available. Confirmed transmission of BBPs during sport is exceedingly rare. There are no well-documented reports of HIV, hepatitis C virus, or hepatitis D virus transmission during sport. There is also no evidence for universal testing for BBPs as a specific requirement for participation in sports. Competitive athletes and nonathletes should follow appropriate general public health agency recommendations for screening for BBPs, considering their individual risk factors and exposures. Standard (universal) precautions must be followed by those providing care to athletes. Exercise and athletic participation can help promote a healthy lifestyle for persons living with BBPs. Those with acute symptomatic BBP infection should limit exercise intensity based on their current health status. Education is the key tool for preventing BBP transmission. Research gaps include evaluation of the prevalence of BBP infections in competitive athletes, the effects of long-term, intense training on infected athletes, and the effects of BBP treatment therapies on performance.

*University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico;

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California;

TMI Sports Medicine, Arlington, Texas;

§Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio;

Texas Orthopedic Associates, Dallas, Texas;

University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona;

**University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado;

††University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; and

‡‡Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon.

Corresponding Author: Christopher Mcgrew, MD, University of New Mexico Hospital, 4804 McMahon Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114 (

All authors have submitted disclosure forms.

This article has been co-published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Received January 29, 2019

Accepted February 07, 2019

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.