Q:

Why were blood tests required before marriage?

A:

Quick Answer

Premarital blood tests have been used to check people getting married for syphilis, rubella, HIV and sickle-cell anemia. The objective of such tests was to ensure the infected person got treated prior to infecting his or her partner or child. In the United States, premarital blood laws were enacted during the 1930s and 1940s when syphilis was considered a potential public health concern.

Continue Reading
Why were blood tests required before marriage?
Credit: Rafe Swan Cultura Getty Images

Full Answer

Premarital blood test laws were written during an era when premarital sex was largely frowned upon, and the legislators writing those laws probably assumed that most sexual encounters happened within the confines of marriage. In contemporary culture, sexual encounters commonly take place both within and outside the bonds of marriage, making these tests largely irrelevant from a public health perspective.

As of April 2014, only the District of Columbia requires premarital blood tests for both partners; however, Montana requires females to get premarital blood tests, and in New York, African-American and Hispanic applicants have to get tested for sickle-cell anemia.

The reason Montana may still test its female residents is related to that fact that these tests often screened for rubella. Rubella can be deadly if passed from a mother to a fetus; however, even women in Montana can opt out of the testing with a waiver from a doctor.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are blood tests mandatory before marriage?

    A:

    As of 2015, blood tests before marriage are only required in the District of Columbia, Mississippi and Montana, according to Nolo. Blood tests were once mandatory before marriage across the United States, but many states no longer require them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the causes of reactive lymphocytes?

    A:

    A higher amount of reactive lymphocytes is seen in patients with viral illnesses such as infectious mononucleosis and viral hepatitis and infections with cytomegalovirus, HIV and rubella. Reactive lymphocytes with convoluted nuclei can been seen in patients with T-cell lymphomas or Sezary syndrome, states Edward C. Lynch in "Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition."

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are STDs?

    A:

    An STD is a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis, syphilis and trichomoniasis. It is spread through sexual contact. WebMD cautions that an STD can be very severe, sometimes resulting in lifelong treatment; HIV in particular has no cure. STDs are usually caused by bacteria and viruses in blood, semen and vaginal secretions, but genital herpes and warts can spread through skin-to-skin contact.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you get neuralgia pain?

    A:

    Neuralgia pain occurs when there is nerve damage, which can result from diabetes, pressure on the nerves, multiple sclerosis and other infections such as HIV, syphilis and Lyme disease, states Healthline. Common types of neuralgia include trigeminal and postherpetic neuralgia, says MedlinePlus. The elderly are prone to this condition, but people of any age can also experience it.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore