New Gay Blood Donation Laws in the UK and Celibate Men

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2011 3:10 PM GMT

    Hi all,

    My name's Tom, I'm a journalist working at the Gay Times in the UK. As you may be aware, changes have recently been announced to the blood donation laws in the UK. Under the previous system, no gay men who had ever had sex with another could donate blood. The new laws will allow gay men to give blood, but only if they haven't had sex in the last ten years. Because of this very long time to go without sex, it seems to me the only people this law is likely to really allow to donate blood is celibate gay men living in the UK.

    If any individuals are out there reading this, and you're confident and happy with who you are - please get in touch on here, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this news. Will you give blood once you legally can? How do you feel about the laws in general?

    Thanks very much,

    tom
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2011 5:29 PM GMT
    If I lived in the UK, you can bet your ass that I wouldn't go without sex for 10 years just to do a good deed. If my blood is too dirty for ya', go fuck yourself. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 13, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    How did they come up with 10 years? That is a long time. By making it 10 years, that really almost continues to make it illegal for gay people to donate blood. I guess that is a very small step in the right direction. I would give blood if I could. I'm the monogamous type, not currently dating, not into hookups, and have been celibate for over 3 years. (I was born in England but live in the US.)
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    Apr 13, 2011 5:42 PM GMT
    i think it can take 10 years for aids or hiv to show up in a blood test
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 13, 2011 5:50 PM GMT
    rosco87 saidi think it can take 10 years for aids or hiv to show up in a blood test


    I think that your thinking about symptoms, not how long it takes to show up in your blood. From what I have read, it takes an average of 5 to 10 years after infection for most people to develop symptoms. It takes 3 to 6 months to shop up in your blood.


    "Many people have no symptoms when they first become infected with HIV. It can take as little as a few weeks for minor, flu-like symptoms to show up, or more than 10 years for more serious symptoms to appear. Signs of HIV include headache, cough, diarrhea, swollen glands, lack of energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, fevers and sweats, repeated yeast infections, skin rashes, pelvic and abdominal cramps, sores in the mouth or on certain parts of the body, or short-term memory loss."


    "It can take as long as 3 to 6 months after the infection for the virus to show up in your blood."

    http://www.nia.nih.gov/healthinformation/publications/hiv-aids.htm


    That being said, a year should be more than safe. All of the blood is tested anyways.




  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 15, 2011 1:48 AM GMT
    What, they just ask you if you've had sex with another man during the past 10 years, and they believe your answer ?
    That seems odd.

    Don't they check all blood donations for HIV antibodies ?
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3283

    Apr 15, 2011 1:45 PM GMT
    aboveThat being said, a year should be more than safe. All of the blood is tested anyways.






    What you never want to have happen is healthcare to be legislated .
    Good medical practices can never be political . And are at the core of the U.S healthcare debate.

    The above law is silly and unnecessary. ( unless you walk around life being chronically offended about how society will treat you)

    When doctors ask questions , they are done to screen and hone down likely scenarios and they contemplate risk.

    What comes to the average persons mind is HIV. ( they can simply doe a test)...

    Its not just HIV but Hep C, Hep A , Hep B syphilis.

    For example I used the zip code I live and practice in 90069, and took blood from each individual in contemplation of donation.

    At least 25% would be unable to donate due to infectious disease concerns.

    Nearly the same or higher risk would exist from someone from Africa or parts of Asia.

    So you say "so what, just throw the blood away"...

    Everytime you type and cross and prepare a unit of blood, in donation. It costs alot.... up to 1000 dollars a unit of blood or more.
    It also costs a lot of money to dispose of the blood. You cannot just pour it down the sink.
    Decisions to restrict blood is not only about disease, but a monetary one. Its also good medicine. A blood center would never take blood from a demographic it had to dispose of 25 % of its donation.

    In the past it was not part of a screening question. We know better now. Its also not good to take a donation from the homeless, or pay individuals to donate blood, as it invites IV drug users.

    I hope this explains it to everyone. Dont ask medical practices to be effected by politics or "political correctness". You will be sorry.

    Medicine should be based on good sound science. Not whether some people are offended by a question or a screening questionnaire.

    Because one day if you need blood, you want there to be a unit of blood for you.
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    Apr 15, 2011 1:53 PM GMT
    I have not heard this - it's not been very well publicised at all.

    Mind you, it is really just paying lip service to the criticisms of not allowing gays to donate blood - it's totally unrealistic and offensive, really.

    The fact is, a gay man who only ever has safe sex or has a monogamous partner is prevented from donating blood whereas a straight man or woman who has 10 different partners a week can donate as much as they like. It's a clear case of discrimination and I still cannot understand WHY it is allowed to continue like this.

    I do know people will say "it's based on the statistics" blah blah blah but that is a bullshit get-out if you ask me, they should subject all donated blood to rigorous screening anyway so it shouldn't be an issue.

    If there was no restriction on gays donating blood then I probably would donate, but even though I could do so now and just claim not to be gay I will refuse to do so.

    The infuriating thing is hearing adverts on the radio asking people to come forward to donate blood as the supplies are low - to me, that's a fucking slap in the face!
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3283

    Apr 15, 2011 2:06 PM GMT
    Pure saidI have not heard this - it's not been very well publicised at all.

    Mind you, it is really just paying lip service to the criticisms of not allowing gays to donate blood - it's totally unrealistic and offensive, really.

    The fact is, a gay man who only ever has safe sex or has a monogamous partner is prevented from donating blood whereas a straight man or woman who has 10 different partners a week can donate as much as they like. It's a clear case of discrimination and I still cannot understand WHY it is allowed to continue like this.

    I do know people will say "it's based on the statistics" blah blah blah but that is a bullshit get-out if you ask me, they should subject all donated blood to rigorous screening anyway so it shouldn't be an issue.

    If there was no restriction on gays donating blood then I probably would donate, but even though I could do so now and just claim not to be gay I will refuse to do so.

    The infuriating thing is hearing adverts on the radio asking people to come forward to donate blood as the supplies are low - to me, that's a fucking slap in the face!


    Read above. Again I will say your personal thoughts on gay monogamous relationships aside make sense.
    But not from a public health perspective.


    In a draconian society. Where all members were forced to donate blood once per year, you would eventually get people screened and tested and treated.

    If you had to discard , after typing and crossing and preserving many thousands even millions of units of blood that would be taken. Thats alot of wasted blood and money.

    Its also bad medicine.

    So we should take blood from people just to throw it out.?

    Again stop being OFFENDED , read and research the topic if you want.


    Its not just about HIV, its Syphilis Hep C, Hep B and a myriad of other parameters.

    Individuals with rare blood types for purposes of donation are used who maybe gay. This is a rare scenario that exists. FYI


    And you also cannot give blood if you’ve ever paid for sex and/or used intravenous drugs, had sex with anyone recently from Africa.

    Its a long list.... there are reasons behind those questions too.

    Medicine is not common sense.
  • nubScotty

    Posts: 282

    Apr 15, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    musclmedIndividuals with rare blood types for purposes of donation are used who maybe gay. This is a rare scenario that exists. FYI


    I'm O- and CMV-, which means I'm a universal donor whose blood can also be used for newborns, premature infants, and people with suppressed immune systems. I'm a completely willing donor as I understand how rare my blood type is, yet I have been blacklisted by the Lifestream organization because I am a gay male.

    When I say blacklisted I mean this literally, the lady had no idea what to do when I told her I had slept with another man, and so I saw the flowchart of procedures for them to undertake. The last step was to add the individuals name(mine) to a "blacklist" to prevent any future attempts at donation. This doesn't seem like sound medical practice, to completely ostracize a willing rare donor type.

    With the shortage of blood supplies as it stands, and the increasing number of people who require blood transfusion; policies like this make absolutely no sense from a medical standpoint or a societal one. If every unit of donated blood is screened and tested for disease, why does it make sense to eliminate an individual simply for being gay when HIV/STI's are no longer a "gay" disease.



  • RHUK

    Posts: 273

    Apr 15, 2011 10:27 PM GMT
    Is it a criminal offence to lie on the questions they ask you?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2011 10:46 PM GMT
    What's the standard of proof in the law for celibacy/absence sex? Is the law just not patronizing the gay constituency. Sounds like a faux-you-can-donate law almost like a civil union standard verse full marriage standard. Marriage bestows full secular law privileges where civil union marginalizes a humans rights and existence in society.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3283

    Apr 16, 2011 1:57 AM GMT
    SoCalScotty said
    musclmedIndividuals with rare blood types for purposes of donation are used who maybe gay. This is a rare scenario that exists. FYI


    I'm O- and CMV-, which means I'm a universal donor whose blood can also be used for newborns, premature infants, and people with suppressed immune systems. I'm a completely willing donor as I understand how rare my blood type is, yet I have been blacklisted by the Lifestream organization because I am a gay male.

    When I say blacklisted I mean this literally, the lady had no idea what to do when I told her I had slept with another man, and so I saw the flowchart of procedures for them to undertake. The last step was to add the individuals name(mine) to a "blacklist" to prevent any future attempts at donation. This doesn't seem like sound medical practice, to completely ostracize a willing rare donor type.

    With the shortage of blood supplies as it stands, and the increasing number of people who require blood transfusion; policies like this make absolutely no sense from a medical standpoint or a societal one. If every unit of donated blood is screened and tested for disease, why does it make sense to eliminate an individual simply for being gay when HIV/STI's are no longer a "gay" disease.






    Your asking a medical decision to be dependant on what you perceive to be a social injustice.

    Gay doctors, straight doctors have discussed this and its not personal. Its a public health matter.

    You are in riverside, so you will be familiar. I have worked in the 92264 zip code, there high HIV rate amongst gay males.

    Although not relevant to your life or my life. Some have random sex.

    That flow chart has alot of other exclusions right? Its not just gay men.

    Dont take it personally.
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 16, 2011 4:37 PM GMT