End to blood donation ban

  • RHUK

    Posts: 273

    Sep 08, 2011 8:58 AM GMT
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14824310

    Positive news icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 08, 2011 12:59 PM GMT
    I was turned down a few years ago. They loved my iron rich blood, rare -AB and then came the dreaded gay question. I didn't lie so the nurse actually was quite upset about the policy. She turned me away but told me that she hoped one day I could help save a few lives with my blood. Bah, I don't think I'll donate, ever.
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    Sep 08, 2011 1:04 PM GMT
    Sure do wish the American Red Cross would do the same.... I'm surprised they take blood from ANYONE now. Seems like everyone in this country is on some form of psych med.... how can they possibly get a pure sample.
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    Sep 08, 2011 1:45 PM GMT
    I don't really think this is positive news. You can only donate if you haven't had sex within the past year. So basically no gay man will be able to donate because no gay man will be able to go a year without sex.

    I believe this change in the ban still discrimates against gay men and still will keep them from being able to donate. Basically the people who were behind the ban in the first place proposed this improvement to make it appear less discriminating, knowing very well it would still keep gays from donating.

  • bad_wolf

    Posts: 1002

    Sep 08, 2011 1:51 PM GMT
    We've achieved nothing and are still overgeneralised as some diseased underclass.
  • Karnage

    Posts: 704

    Sep 08, 2011 2:20 PM GMT
    I do feel that the policies should be changed somewhat, to account for protected vs. unprotected sex, but gay blood is excluded because of statistics, not discrimination. Gay men are statistically more likely to be infected with HIV and other STDs and not know it. Do you know of any other population that pushes so heavily for regular testing? And we can't rely on blood tests to rule out our blood, because sometimes it takes up to six months after being infected before one would test positive for HIV.

    So does it suck that we can't donate blood? Yes. But I understand that when people's lives are at risk, they don't go with the statistically more dangerous option.
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    I donate at work during every blood drive. I am able to answer the question have you have any contact with a man in past year because it's been five.
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:48 PM GMT
    Karnage saidI do feel that the policies should be changed somewhat, to account for protected vs. unprotected sex, but gay blood is excluded because of statistics, not discrimination. Gay men are statistically more likely to be infected with HIV and other STDs and not know it. Do you know of any other population that pushes so heavily for regular testing? And we can't rely on blood tests to rule out our blood, because sometimes it takes up to six months after being infected before one would test positive for HIV.

    So does it suck that we can't donate blood? Yes. But I understand that when people's lives are at risk, they don't go with the statistically more dangerous option.


    This isn't completely accurate. All donated blood gets tested but since it's tested by man there is a 7% margin of error of missing infected blood. By allowing gay men to donate this margin of error goes up to 9% and this 2% difference is what they are justifying for the ban. So it does appear they are choosing the less statistically dangerous option.

    However, if they prevented certain races from donating it would drop the margin of error down to 5%. This of course would be the less statistically dangerous option, but you can't discriminate based on race. It's illegal. Yet it's ok and legal to discrimate against gay men?

    I think discrimination of any kind is absurd. It makes it difficult for me to believe that there is such a shortage of blood if they are turning people away just for being gay.
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    Sep 08, 2011 2:54 PM GMT
    I've had Canadian Blood Services nurses "ignore" my response to the gay question, I've had them turn me away regretfully and I've had them turn me away with disgust, O- blood like mine is needed more then any other type. Glad it's changing there, now if only in Canada they can overturn current legislation banning gays from donating organs as well as blood. Good step forward though.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    It was too long ago to remember, It was a public blood drive at UBC when I went there,
  • great_scott

    Posts: 519

    Sep 08, 2011 3:40 PM GMT
    I never really had any issues with the ban here in the US. I know they're just trying to keep the blood banks safe for everyone, and that includes me if I need blood one day. I understand the reasons, and I know it's nothing personal against me.

    Different groups within the gay male population have been disproportionately affected by HIV. If this ban was to be lifted, they would almost still have to ban certain types of gay men that are part of the harder hit groups; that's pretty much like asking for a giant lawsuit! Safest bet is to just keep things the same. If it ain't broke...
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:43 PM GMT
    BeAmazing said
    This isn't completely accurate. All donated blood gets tested but since it's tested by man there is a 7% margin of error of missing infected blood. By allowing gay men to donate this margin of error goes up to 9% and this 2% difference is what they are justifying for the ban. So it does appear they are choosing the less statistically dangerous option.

    However, if they prevented certain races from donating it would drop the margin of error down to 5%. This of course would be the less statistically dangerous option, but you can't discriminate based on race. It's illegal. Yet it's ok and legal to discrimate against gay men?

    I think discrimination of any kind is absurd. It makes it difficult for me to believe that there is such a shortage of blood if they are turning people away just for being gay.


    Not sure how the leap to 9% is not BS. The test works the same on all blood. Gay blood isnĀ“t special.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:45 PM GMT
    RHUK saidhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14824310

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    HIV Positive news.

    :]
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:48 PM GMT
    great_scott saidI never really had any issues with the ban here in the US. I know they're just trying to keep the blood banks safe for everyone, and that includes me if I need blood one day. I understand the reasons, and I know it's nothing personal against me.

    Different groups within the gay male population have been disproportionately affected by HIV. If this ban was to be lifted, they would almost still have to ban certain types of gay men that are part of the harder hit groups; that's pretty much like asking for a giant lawsuit! Safest bet is to just keep things the same. If it ain't broke...


    Well the point is if we are goin off statistics, other groups, such as heterosexual males of African decent are at a higher "risk" group then gays, meaning there are more heterosexual males of African decent who have HIV then gay males, if that group where to be banned from donating blood there would be hell to pay. Mainly the reasons behind banning gays are outdated and the science inacurate, so the point is these laws need to be updated internationally.
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    Sep 08, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    All the while in the US we get this shit-tastic question.


    "are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977"

    It was petitioned to be overturned in 2010, but the FDA upheld the ban, even with the Red Cross recommending a 1 year deferral... (which, if you ask me is still asinine).

    So, call me jaded, but im taking my AB-neg blood and saying fuck off... to any donation drive.
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    Sep 08, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
    Seems like us AB- and O- gay men will just hold on to our rare blood types. I'm sure a few people could die but whate ever says the mafia that is the FDA.
  • great_scott

    Posts: 519

    Sep 08, 2011 5:11 PM GMT
    axbuddy said
    great_scott saidI never really had any issues with the ban here in the US. I know they're just trying to keep the blood banks safe for everyone, and that includes me if I need blood one day. I understand the reasons, and I know it's nothing personal against me.

    Different groups within the gay male population have been disproportionately affected by HIV. If this ban was to be lifted, they would almost still have to ban certain types of gay men that are part of the harder hit groups; that's pretty much like asking for a giant lawsuit! Safest bet is to just keep things the same. If it ain't broke...


    Well the point is if we are goin off statistics, other groups, such as heterosexual males of African decent are at a higher "risk" group then gays, meaning there are more heterosexual males of African decent who have HIV then gay males, if that group where to be banned from donating blood there would be hell to pay. Mainly the reasons behind banning gays are outdated and the science inacurate, so the point is these laws need to be updated internationally.


    Interesting, funny thing about those tricky heteros though...I've gotten to know several heterosexual men of African descent verrrrry well! icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 08, 2011 7:17 PM GMT
    This policy is fucked up. Ugh. Makes me so angry.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 08, 2011 7:17 PM GMT
    Trollileo saidI've actually started thinking about starting an LGBT blood bank that would take blood transfusions that would only be administered to HIV positive men and women.

    I don't have sex, though, because I'm O-. I'm perfectly content with abstinence if it means saving another person's life.


    you do realize that there are many strains of HIV and you would be infecting patients with more strands more likely, making it harder to treat? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Sep 08, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIf they can do "sperm washing" to allow an HIV+ man to safely have an uninfected child I wonder if they can somehow figure out a way to do the same to "wash blood" as a safety precaution in order not to infect a person in need of a blood transfusion. But like any new technology it would probably be cost prohibitive in the long run and therefore not viable.


    It'd be pretty difficult. "Sperm washing" is just a fancy way of saying "isolate the sperm from the seminal fluid". This usually means putting the semen in a test tube, running it through a centrifuge, transporting the isolated sperm from tube to uterus, and disposing of the infectious leftovers. It works because HIV is only found in the seminal fluid, and artificial intrauterine insemination doesn't need the seminal fluid once you extract the sperm. Donor blood, on the other hand, works best when it isn't separated into parts; after all, transfusion patients need the plasma as well as the red blood cells.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Sep 08, 2011 8:16 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidYeah, after I typed that I thought to myself, "Well if it were possible I'm sure they would have come up with it by now."

    Scratch that thought. icon_smile.gif


    There's still a lot that we don't know about HIV, and about viruses in general. It is a nice goal, though.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 08, 2011 9:05 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    calibro said
    Trollileo saidI've actually started thinking about starting an LGBT blood bank that would take blood transfusions that would only be administered to HIV positive men and women.

    I don't have sex, though, because I'm O-. I'm perfectly content with abstinence if it means saving another person's life.


    you do realize that there are many strains of HIV and you would be infecting patients with more strands more likely, making it harder to treat? icon_rolleyes.gif
    Hmm... Didn't think about that part.

    What if only HIV- people donated?


    then you're back at square one with the regular system of letting gay men donate in terms of the statistical chance being raised that the window period would allow contaminated blood to slip through.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Sep 08, 2011 9:08 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    calibro said
    Trollileo said
    calibro said
    Trollileo saidI've actually started thinking about starting an LGBT blood bank that would take blood transfusions that would only be administered to HIV positive men and women.

    I don't have sex, though, because I'm O-. I'm perfectly content with abstinence if it means saving another person's life.


    you do realize that there are many strains of HIV and you would be infecting patients with more strands more likely, making it harder to treat? icon_rolleyes.gif
    Hmm... Didn't think about that part.

    What if only HIV- people donated?


    then you're back at square one with the regular system of letting gay men donate in terms of the statistical chance being raised that the window period would allow contaminated blood to slip through.
    Couldn't it be kept on hold stored safely and test it after its quarantine period?


    You'd have to have the donor come back in for the test - the antibodies that trigger the positive test result don't spontaneously generate themselves.
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Sep 08, 2011 9:22 PM GMT
    Bustamante saidI was turned down a few years ago. They loved my iron rich blood, rare -AB and then came the dreaded gay question. I didn't lie so the nurse actually was quite upset about the policy. She turned me away but told me that she hoped one day I could help save a few lives with my blood. Bah, I don't think I'll donate, ever.


    yup. same. fuck em.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 08, 2011 9:49 PM GMT
    In Australia, there are ads everywhere that 1 in 3 people need blood, but only 1 in 30 donate. I used to donate through highschool as soon as I turned sixteen.

    However, the policy here is 'have you had male to male sex in the past 12 months ?'. I thought my 12-month period was over this June and went along to the blood donation centre.

    Unfortunately, it turns out that the Red Cross' policy is that ANY mucosal contact is deemed male to male sex - so oral sex is out, which seemed ridiculous. How low is the risk of HIV transmission by oral sex in reality ? It was the most incredibly frustrating moment I've ever had in a small room with a nurse knowing I'm healthy and willing to donate, but not being able to.

    8.5 months more until I'm eligible again - until then I'll hoard my overachieving A+ blood icon_rolleyes.gif