Men who sleep with men able to donate Blood after lifetime ban

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2011 3:47 PM GMT
    *I edited my post after reading the replies to my question. I was in the wrong for putting gay men and instead have changed it to Men who sleep with men.


    Hey guys I thought that this would be a great article to read. It seems that now men who sleep with other men are allowed to donate blood in Great Britain. What do you guys think about it?


    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/health-news/2011/09/09/gay-men-will-be-able-to-donate-blood-115875-23406203/
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 7:48 PM GMT
    Just as American gays are rushing to join the military now that DADT is over, the English gays are storming the blood donation centers to donate blood.

    All it is is that gays feel more equal to others. But in reality, it makes no difference.
  • Gloryboys

    Posts: 28

    Sep 25, 2011 7:57 PM GMT
    Yes we can donate but and it is a big but we are still being discriminated against, you see the only way we can donate is by not having any sex of any type for twelve months, but if your heterosexual you can carry on with any form of sexual behaviour without recourse and still donate because your straight. This is being challenged but as ever will take time.
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:04 PM GMT
    I think the ban on gays to give blood is stupid.

    The people highest risk for HIV/AIDs are the uneducated people (taking a look at all my straight friends I've asked if they used condoms and literally every one has said no because the girl is on the pill).

    It makes me think that their mind set is "Since this isn't gay blood (since we asked and all....) we don't need to check it for HIV." which is scary.

    My co-worker has a nephew who is in need of blood transfusions and you can actually dedicate your blood to someone, he asked me if I would donate blood and dedicate it to his nephew and I had to reply, "I'm sorry but because I answered the pre-donation questions truthfully, my name in their system is forever red flagged.".

    But to make up for it we sent a mass email to our office with the info on how to donate for the poor baby icon_sad.gif

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    Sep 25, 2011 8:05 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidJust as American gays are rushing to join the military now that DADT is over, the English gays are storming the blood donation centers to donate blood.

    All it is is that gays feel more equal to others. But in reality, it makes no difference.


    It's not a discrimination issue. It's a need for blood (especially unique types) but not getting it from a specific type of person because of ignorance.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 8:10 PM GMT
    waxon said
    commoncoll saidJust as American gays are rushing to join the military now that DADT is over, the English gays are storming the blood donation centers to donate blood.

    All it is is that gays feel more equal to others. But in reality, it makes no difference.


    It's not a discrimination issue. It's a need for blood (especially unique types) but not getting it from a specific type of person because of ignorance.

    The ban is not against gays. It is against men who have sex with men. Gays just fall under that category.
    Gays don't have special blood. Their unique blood is also present in the rest of the 90-93% of the population where men don't have sex with men. I think the only case you CAN make is discrimination. Because numbers don't support gays being allowed to donate blood. For example, blacks are another high-risk group, but obviously they can't ban them.

    America's Blood Center website says 43,000 pints were used in US+Canada. Their website also says that red blood cells (most used component of blood) can be kept for 42 days. Population wise, a little more than 89% of this blood will be used in US. Only 3% of all accidents in Canada and US occur in Canada, and more dangerous surgical procedures take place in US than Canada, but we will use 89%.

    So more than 38,270 pints were used in US everyday. In one year, 13,968,550 pints were used.

    UCLA estimated that if FDA lifted the ban on MSM (men who have sex with men), 219000 more pints will be available. But keep in mind, not all of this blood will be used. And MSM will have a higher amount of blood wasted than general population. But I don't know what the statistics are here.

    With less than 219,000 being added to the 13,968,550 pints already being used, the amount of potential increase in blood available should the FDA lift the ban on MSM is less than 1.5%. So is it really worth it? Keep in mind that false negative rate for blood testing will be higher for MSM.

    I couldn't find estimates of MSM who are HIV+. But the false negative from 13 tests for STDs done should rise less than 1.5% if MSM could donate. Also, calculations are not scientific.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 8:24 PM GMT
    heybreaux saidbased on the reasons for the ban, shouldn't they be banning straight women?

    How so?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:27 PM GMT
    Wow, I had no idea that gay people were banned to donate blood. How stupid those law can get?
    Good to hear it's over though...
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:27 PM GMT
    I've been able to donate any time I was able even if I said I was gay. Might be because I'm O+ but never had trouble donating.
  • HereNBoston

    Posts: 221

    Sep 25, 2011 8:29 PM GMT
    Pretty sure that the fastest growing group of new HIV infections is african american heterosexual females.... but policy is very rarely based on actual objective data.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    HereNBoston saidPretty sure that the fastest growing group of new HIV infections is african american heterosexual females.... but policy is very rarely based on actual objective data.

    True. This is why we have to make the case for discrimination against gays and not by numbers.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    The ban is not against gays. It is against men who have sex with men. Gays just fall under that category.
    Gays don't have special blood. Their unique blood is also present in the rest of the 90-93% of the population where men don't have sex with men. I think the only case you CAN make is discrimination. Because numbers don't support gays being allowed to donate blood.


    It's obviously done to prevent gays from donating blood though because most men who have sex with men are homosexuals. It would be less discriminatory if it specified the kind of sex regardless of gender, like anal.

    But it is biased. For example, the same kind of discrimination for the sake of blood supply safety is not applied to people who have sex with blacks despite their high risk for HIV. Why aren't people who have sex with black people banned as well?

    CDC - HIV Among African AmericansBy race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States (US). At the end of 2007, blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with long-term, confidential, name-based HIV reporting. In 2006, blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Even though new HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s, compared with members of other races and ethnicities they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV—from new infections to deaths.
  • sparks11

    Posts: 2

    Sep 25, 2011 8:36 PM GMT
    you dont necessarily have to be gay to not donate blood just men who have sex with other men.

    but it just proves there is still a stigma with HIV and gay men =(
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 8:37 PM GMT
    Anto said
    But it is biased because for example the same kind of discrimination for the sake of blood supply safety is not applied to people who have sex with blacks despite their high risk for HIV. Why aren't people who have sex with black people banned as well?

    Yes, that is what I said in the next line after the one you quoted from.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 8:37 PM GMT
    sparks11 saidyou dont necessarily have to be gay to not donate blood just men who have sex with other men.

    but it just proves there is still a stigma with HIV and gay men =(


    No, not gay men, men who have sex with men.. It's not about gay men remember?
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    HereNBoston saidPretty sure that the fastest growing group of new HIV infections is african american heterosexual females.... but policy is very rarely based on actual objective data.


    Well, sort of. Black women have the hightest incidence rates, but gay men still far and away have the highest prevelence of HIV of any group. Although it's a totally antiquated policy, I think it really is just based on the numbers.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    commoncoll said
    Anto said
    But it is biased because for example the same kind of discrimination for the sake of blood supply safety is not applied to people who have sex with blacks despite their high risk for HIV. Why aren't people who have sex with black people banned as well?

    Yes, that is what I said in the next line after the one you quoted from.


    Obviously the people involved can't be trusted as being rational and/or objective.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 8:44 PM GMT
    oozyrat said
    HereNBoston saidPretty sure that the fastest growing group of new HIV infections is african american heterosexual females.... but policy is very rarely based on actual objective data.


    Well, sort of. Black women have the hightest incidence rates, but gay men still far and away have the highest prevelence of HIV of any group. Although it's a totally antiquated policy, I think it really is just based on the numbers.


    CDC - HIV Among African AmericansBy race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States (US). At the end of 2007, blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with long-term, confidential, name-based HIV reporting. In 2006, blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Even though new HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s, compared with members of other races and ethnicities they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV—from new infections to deaths.
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    Sep 25, 2011 8:47 PM GMT
    Anto said
    oozyrat said
    HereNBoston saidPretty sure that the fastest growing group of new HIV infections is african american heterosexual females.... but policy is very rarely based on actual objective data.


    Well, sort of. Black women have the hightest incidence rates, but gay men still far and away have the highest prevelence of HIV of any group. Although it's a totally antiquated policy, I think it really is just based on the numbers.


    CDC - HIV Among African AmericansBy race/ethnicity, African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV in the United States (US). At the end of 2007, blacks accounted for almost half (46%) of people living with a diagnosis of HIV infection in the 37 states and 5 US dependent areas with long-term, confidential, name-based HIV reporting. In 2006, blacks accounted for nearly half (45%) of new infections in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Even though new HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s, compared with members of other races and ethnicities they continue to account for a higher proportion of cases at all stages of HIV—from new infections to deaths.




    This number looking at African Americans includes black MSM. MSM still make up the largest group by far.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    oozyrat said

    This number looking at African Americans includes black MSM. MSM still make up the largest group by far.


    What difference does that make? It's still huge regardless. So why aren't people who have sex with blacks banned?

    And what does MSM mean in regard to sex? Sex can mean anything from kissing to anal penetration. How much of a risk is a gay couple that is monogamous and may not even have anal sex compared to a straight guy that sleeps around with women?
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    Sep 25, 2011 9:01 PM GMT
    Anto said
    oozyrat said

    This number looking at African Americans includes black MSM. MSM still make up the largest group by far.


    What difference does that make? It's still huge regardless. So why aren't people who have sex with blacks banned?

    And what does MSM mean in regard to sex? Sex can mean anything from kissing to anal penetration.




    Any sort of ban makes no sense, because all blood is screened for HIV and hepatitis. The odds of contracting HIV are in the millions. Transmission of HIV by men who have sex with men is determined in retrospect, so obviously it would have to be sexual acts that can transmit the virus: kissing and oral sex are very unlikely to do that.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Sep 25, 2011 9:09 PM GMT
    oozyrat said
    Any sort of ban makes no sense, because all blood is screened for HIV and hepatitis. The odds of contracting HIV are in the millions. Transmission of HIV by men who have sex with men is determined in retrospect, so obviously it would have to be sexual acts that can transmit the virus: kissing and oral sex are very unlikely to do that.


    Right but do they specify the kinds of MSM acts?

    I want to know how organizations which are doing the banning justify it in light of such conflicts. How can they even be looked at as credible then?
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    Sep 25, 2011 9:17 PM GMT
    Anto said
    oozyrat said
    Any sort of ban makes no sense, because all blood is screened for HIV and hepatitis. The odds of contracting HIV are in the millions. Transmission of HIV by men who have sex with men is determined in retrospect, so obviously it would have to be sexual acts that can transmit the virus: kissing and oral sex are very unlikely to do that.


    Right but do they specify the kinds of MSM acts?

    I want to know how organizations which are doing the banning justify it in light of such conflicts. How can they even be looked at as credible then?



    They CDC hasn't ever put out a study about which MSM activities are most risky, but other studies have: MSM receivers contract at rates highter than MSM inserters, who contact at rates higher than WSM receivers, who contract at rates higher than MSW inserters, who all contract at rates much higher than WSW. Wow, did that even make sense. I'm not sure why it matters that the CDC specify the acts though? The Red Cross policies dictate a lot of the standards in blood donation, and they use the CDC recomendations. And as I've said, MSM still make up the largest population with HIV, and thus pose the highest risk. Still not right, but hardly a conspiracy.

    All the latest CDC trends from 2009 data are here, if anyone is really interested:
    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/trends/index.htm
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Sep 25, 2011 9:18 PM GMT
    Anto said
    oozyrat said
    Any sort of ban makes no sense, because all blood is screened for HIV and hepatitis. The odds of contracting HIV are in the millions. Transmission of HIV by men who have with men is determined in retrospect, so obviously it would have to be sexual acts that can transmit the virus: kissing and oral sex are very unlikely to do that.


    Right but do they specify the kinds of MSM acts?

    I want to know how organizations which are doing the banning justify it in light of such conflicts. How can they even be looked at as credible then?

    Sex is defined as where penetration of/using sexual organs take place. It is self-defined. It depends on the person who is wanting to donate to determine what "Are you a man who has had sex with another man since 1977?" means.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 25, 2011 9:22 PM GMT
    There are a lot of other restrictions besides just MSM. There are height/weight requirements, travel restrictions, and a whole bunch of others. Here is the list from the Red Cross:

    http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-topic