The Sexist

The Blood Donation Ban on Men Who Have Sex With Men, Reconsidered

Via Metro Weekly: This June, the "Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability" intends to commence reconsidering an FDA policy that's been in place since 1985: The one "prohibiting men who have had sex with another man 'even one time since 1977' from donating blood."

Three blood-y groups—The American Association of Blood Banks, America's Blood Centers, and the American Red Cross—oppose the FDA's lifetime ban; in 2006, the orgs announced that they consider it ''medically and scientifically unwarranted.'' In place of the lifetime ban, the organizations recommended that gay men who "have not had sex with another man for more than a year" should be eligible to donate. Does this mean that ex-gays may finally be able to contribute to our blood supply?

Photo by Abhishek Jacob,Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

Comments

  1. #1

    ...mixed feelings. While it's about damn time, women are now contracting HIV at a higher rate than men (in particular women of color? I can't cite that source, though). I mean, progress is great and all, but the recommendation is still absurd.

  2. #2

    Man, I found out that because I had oral sex with another guy (who was a virgin in every possible sense of the word) for the first and only time a few months ago (not even to ejaculation) that I can't donate blood. EVER AGAIN?!? That's seriously leotarded. I hope they overturn this ban. I have so many healthy bloods to donate!! SO MANY!! I can wait a year, that's not so bad, but a lifetime? Lamesauce.

  3. #3

    Seems to me they should screen all donated blood for all potential infections. I thought they did this already. That would catch everything.

  4. #4

    While it’s about damn time, women are now contracting HIV at a higher rate than men

    Women do not contract HIV at a higher rate than men. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention 53% of the new incidences of HIV was from male-to-male sexual contact, 31% from high-risk heterosexual contact, 12% from injection drug use, and 4% from both male-to-male sexual contact and drug use. There is, however, a higher occurrence of HIV in the black population than in the white population.

  5. #5

    Toysoldier "There is, however, a higher occurrence of HIV in the black population than in the white population." WHAT'S YOUR SOURCE? IF THAT IS TRUE ITS BECAUSE BLACK HAVE THE SENSE AND COURAGE TO GET TESTED AT A HIGHER RATE THAT WHITE FOLK.

    HOMOSEXUAL MEN (CURRENT AND PAST)SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO DONATE BLOOD JUST LIKE IV DRUG USERS. THEIR LIFESTYLES ARE RISKY AND DISGUSTING. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO RISK THEIR LIFE DEPENDING ON SOMEONE WHO NEVER VALUED THEIRS?

    LET THE BANISHMENT CONTINUE!

  6. #6

    Dominique, they do screen every donor for HIV, and they screen all samples. However, they cannot eliminate all chances of false negatives. Even if a case of an HIV+ donor who A) doesn't know of the infection (or doesn't care), B) wants to donate, C) passes the initial HIV test, and D) their donated blood also falsely passes the HIV screening is extremely unlikely, there is still a chance that it could happen.

    That said, the lifetime ban on teh gayz is bigoted, hyper-reactionary, and, as many organizations and people have stated, blatantly un-scientific.

  7. #7

    I agree with Noodlez about Homosexual men should not be able to donate their blood.

  8. #8

    @noodlez: Let me get this straight. A man who had sex with another man never "valued" my life? Well, a: of course not, because I don't think most people are struck, pre-sexiness, by the thought: "Will complete strangers who may or may not want some of my blood in order to live find my actions a little icky?" And b: I should be honored and grateful to accept blood, god forbid I ever need to, from ANYBODY healthy who was so generous and kind as to donate it. Everybody should be tested, absolutely. But your remarks were hateful, homophobic, and backwards.

  9. #9

    Fair. I was going off a class I took earlier this year; I may be thinking of rates in another country or something. Thanks.

  10. #10

    @ Katie "Let me get this straight. A man who had sex with another man never “valued” my life?" WTF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    "a little icky" SEE ITS WITH THAT CAVALIER ATTITUDE THAT PUT US IN THE PREDICAMENT THAT WE ARE IN NOW. MEN ON MEN SEX IS NASTY, DEPLORABLE AND UNSANITARY. GROW UP!

    MY REMARKS WERE NOT HATEFUL AND/OR BACKWARKS. THEY WERE HONEST AND STRAIGHT FORWARD. AS FOR THE HOMOPHOBIC REFERENCE THE FLOGGING OF EQUINE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED FIND ANOTHER WAY TO VENT YOUR FRUSTRATION.

    LET THE BANISHMENT CONTINUE!

  11. #11

    You don't think you can be honestly and straight-forwardly hateful and homophobic?

  12. #12

    I honestly cannot believe that in 2010 we still ban gay men from donating their blood. At first I was excited to see the headline that the ban might be lifted. Reducing the ban from "lifetime" to one year is almost comical. So gay men who are having a long dry spell are in the clear but a married, monogamous gay man cannot?

    ALL OF THE DONATED BLOOD IS TESTED. Anyone can get HIV. I won't argue with the statistics that gay men are more likely to contract the virus, but HIV isn't somehow sneakier or more insidious when it is in the blood of a gay man. The test is just as reliable as when it is used on any other blood sample.
    It's discrimination and it's foolish. If the blood banks are as desperate as they claim to be, they shouldn't exclude any legitimate donor pool.

  13. #13

    I don't think the bloodbank should have the right to ask about sexual proclivity. It's descrimitnation. If I'm bleeding to death, I really don't care if the blood that saves my life is from a gay man, a lesbian, a heterosexual man, a heterosexual woman, a transexual, a transgendered, a virgin or a prostitute. As long as the blood is tested, I'm happy to have it! (I needed 6 units while pregnant and was so grateful to recieve it)

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