AMSSM position statement update: Blood-borne pathogens in the context of sports participation

Christopher McGrew, Daisy Scarlett Maccallum, Dustymarie Narducci, Rathna Nuti, Leonard Calabrese, Robert J. Dimeff, Stephen Paul, Sourav Poddar, Ashwin Rao, Douglas McKeag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This American Medical Society for Sports Medicine position statement update is directed towards healthcare 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 the 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, HCV or HDV transmission during sport. There is also no evidence for universal testing for BBPs as a specific requirement for participation in sports. Competitive athletes and non-Athletes 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-207
Number of pages8
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • blood
  • contact sports
  • infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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