Help allow gay men to donate blood

  • nomad4life

    Posts: 332

    Jan 04, 2013 3:28 AM GMT
    A few months ago I went to go donate blood (my first time since I started dating men) and I not only got rejected, I was permanently deferred. A question on their form asks you "If you are a man, have you ever had sexual interaction with another man, even if it was only once?" I, being honest, answered yes. And now I'm basically black listed by the blood banks of America. I passed around the information to a lot of people and now finally some of us got together and started this petition to raise awareness on the subject that gay and bisexual men (just men, not women) are not allowed to donate. I ask that you sign it, or at least read it and pass it on to others. This is a right that should not be overlooked when fighting for equality.


    http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-food-and-drug-administration-allow-gay-men-to-donate-blood


    Oh, and if you know of any other groups/organizations/petitions out there fighting for the same cause please let me know so we can try to join together.
    Thank you
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    Jan 04, 2013 4:50 AM GMT
    waterloonicetop saidLike being maxipad free, i always thought wlking past the blood donor table guilt free was one of the few perks of homophobia/gayness


    I agree with you here! When I get asked why I'm not an organ donor, I explain it's because I'm not allowed to give blood to save a life and not being a donor follows that same principle.
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    Jan 04, 2013 5:31 AM GMT
    Thank you for starting a petition and ignore some of these ignorant a-holes. I lie and donate blood every 3 months. I don't give a crap what the Blood banks say, I'm there to help innocent people who are in need of help. Not enough people donate so it IS important for every able bodied person to contribute.
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    Jan 04, 2013 6:43 AM GMT
    As unfair as it is, I can see the purpose of them putting this restriction on gays. Unfortunately, it is true that anal sex is risker in terms of contracting STI's and HIV is still a serious prevalence in our community.

    HIV is not a death sentence any longer, but as unintentional we may be, if we happened to contract HIV and not know it (which happens to the best of us), then donating that blood may infect others. And they do screen it for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, but it may still pass because of the chances of a false negative. And we don't want someone who's just getting a pacemaker fit in to get HIV at the same time right?

    But this restriction isn't only on gay men, they ask people a variety of questions such as your height, weight, and other personal details. My friends have been rejected for being too skinny or have been rejected for doing seasonal volunteer work at a 3rd world country.

    But I agree with waterloonicetop and Erik, being gay and being banned, I don't feel guilty when I pass by the blood donation clinic.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jan 04, 2013 6:46 AM GMT
    Personally, I say fuck em' if they don't want our blood.
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    Jan 04, 2013 6:59 AM GMT
    I encountered a survey at the university that I used to work at. It, oddly enough, didn't even acknowledge this and more legitimate medical reasons for being disallowed to donate blood. The survey assumed that, if you did not donate, you had a personal reason holding you back.

    I was FURIOUS. The survey taker got a big headache from me.

    Yeah, on this one, it's equally regressive in Canada. icon_sad.gif
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    Jan 04, 2013 7:03 AM GMT
    intensity69 saidI encountered a survey at the university that I used to work at. It, oddly enough, didn't even acknowledge this and more legitimate medical reasons for being disallowed to donate blood. The survey assumed that, if you did not donate, you had a personal reason holding you back.

    I was FURIOUS. The survey taker got a big headache from me.

    Yeah, on this one, it's equally regressive in Canada. icon_sad.gif


    Someone fell asleep when the prof was talking about constructing a proper test in the scientific method icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 04, 2013 7:10 AM GMT
    Every time someone from the blood bank stops me on the sidewalk to ask if I want to donate blood, I cheerfully and loudly say, "Nope. Can't. I fuck guys, sorry!", then go on my merry way. icon_cool.gif
  • whytehot

    Posts: 1167

    Jan 04, 2013 9:19 AM GMT
    donating blood is about helping others, not self validation. Seeing that gays are many times more likely to have HIV, and that testing negative doesn't guarantee safety, crying "unfair" at the blood banks for over-vigilance is pretty much at the bottom of my priority list. What the blood banks should really do though is rule out anyone who has had more than one sex partner in the past 3 months. Which also rules out more gays than straights, oops.
  • thegaymessiah

    Posts: 214

    Jan 04, 2013 10:27 AM GMT
    Er I don't mean to play devil's advocate here but:

    They're just trying to be cautious and safe.

    Much like the Salvation Army thinks it's doing good by discriminating against gays but really they're hurting people. Unintentional hurt is still hurt.... and it's sad that they can't see/don't care how they are hurting people's feelings and stuff.

    All sex with another person has a risk to it that needs to be balanced with safety and care. like Dan Savage says 'we find it hot, because it's degrading.'

    [quote]What the blood banks should really do though is rule out anyone who has had more than one sex partner in the past 3 months. Which also rules out more gays than straights, oops.[/quote]

    where is your factual data on 'most?' I am a homosexual male but I'm not a whore about it. Truly. I really really do mean that. I rarely ever have real sex because relationship and love means that much more to me. All of the straights I know are way bigger sluts than I am.
  • stef_30

    Posts: 36

    Jan 04, 2013 11:17 AM GMT
    that not easy. In Europe that the same way. If you are gay, you don't give your blood. Im donate from long time. That not right why the gay cant give? I hope if all people are honnest, you can say ok im well to done or i have to more sex without condom and i dont control me for all infection (VIH, and more) and i dont give.
    I make a choice and i control my life to give blood
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:00 PM GMT
    KKim11 saidAs unfair as it is, I can see the purpose of them putting this restriction on gays. Unfortunately, it is true that anal sex is risker in terms of contracting STI's and HIV is still a serious prevalence in our community.

    HIV is not a death sentence any longer, but as unintentional we may be, if we happened to contract HIV and not know it (which happens to the best of us), then donating that blood may infect others. And they do screen it for HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, but it may still pass because of the chances of a false negative. And we don't want someone who's just getting a pacemaker fit in to get HIV at the same time right?

    But this restriction isn't only on gay men, they ask people a variety of questions such as your height, weight, and other personal details. My friends have been rejected for being too skinny or have been rejected for doing seasonal volunteer work at a 3rd world country.

    But I agree with waterloonicetop and Erik, being gay and being banned, I don't feel guilty when I pass by the blood donation clinic.


    I agree. There are reasons why the policy is in place. Lying about it endangers already sick people. I'm totally cool with not being allowed to donate blood. I think crying for equality in every circumstance without considering the reasoning behind the inequality is ridiculous and diminishes the power behind legitimate equality debates. Donating blood is not a human rights issue...
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:18 PM GMT
    There's a similar system here in the UK, except it was recently changed meaning that if you've had sex with a man within the last year then you're not applicable. I can understand their stand point on this issue, however it does create the question as to why we're allowed to donate organs but not blood?

    Though, perhaps there are more systems in place to analyse the status of organs than blood or simply the lack of people willing to donate such vital pieces of their fabric makes them less inclined to be picky.

    It is difficult though, as I have donated blood in the past and since I'm a rare blood type often receives letters asking me to contribute once more.
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:38 PM GMT
    If bitches don't want my blood they ain't get it, I need that shit anyways and I pass out when I get needles.
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:40 PM GMT
    Oh and you guys saying that we could have HIV and not know it, you do realize that heterosexuals are not immune to HIV and they could have it and not know it too, right?
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:45 PM GMT
    McQueen saidOh and you guys saying that we could have HIV and not know it, you do realize that heterosexuals are not immune to HIV and they could have it and not know it too, right?


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS03_BF9XCeIlefLq2G99b

    BLASPHEMY!!!!!
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    Jan 04, 2013 12:46 PM GMT
    not_superman saidApparently Mexico is lifting their ban http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/27/mexico-gay-blood-donation-ban-lift_n_2370570.html


    That's wonderful news!
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Jan 04, 2013 1:03 PM GMT
    I don't like it but this is a blood safety issue not a discrimination issue (BTW intravenous drug users, prostitutes, and hemophiliacs also banned from donation).

    Here is why the screening isn't 100%:

    "A man in his 40s donated contaminated blood at a Missouri blood center in June 2008, ......the man's HIV positive status was not confirmed until after he donated blood a second time, in November 2008. ........investigators found that the man's blood from the first donation had been transfused into two patients. ...... the second patient, of Colorado, received a blood transfusion during a kidney transplant in August 2008 and later tested positive for HIV.
    ........The last known case of HIV transmission from a blood transfusion was in 2002........a follow-up interview ......the man acknowledged having anonymous sexual affairs with men and women before his initial blood donation........Health investigators determined that the man had donated blood during the window of time before HIV infection can be detected though screening. That window averages nine days for the tests used by U.S. blood banks....."Even the most sensitive screening technologies currently available cannot identify the presence of HIV infection during the first few days after infection,"
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    Jan 04, 2013 1:19 PM GMT
    LuckyGuyKC saidI don't like it but this is a blood safety issue not a discrimination issue (BTW intravenous drug users, prostitutes, and hemophiliacs also banned from donation).

    Here is why the screening isn't 100%:

    "A man in his 40s donated contaminated blood at a Missouri blood center in June 2008, ......the man's HIV positive status was not confirmed until after he donated blood a second time, in November 2008. ........investigators found that the man's blood from the first donation had been transfused into two patients. ...... the second patient, of Colorado, received a blood transfusion during a kidney transplant in August 2008 and later tested positive for HIV.
    ........The last known case of HIV transmission from a blood transfusion was in 2002........a follow-up interview ......the man acknowledged having anonymous sexual affairs with men and women before his initial blood donation........Health investigators determined that the man had donated blood during the window of time before HIV infection can be detected though screening. That window averages nine days for the tests used by U.S. blood banks....."Even the most sensitive screening technologies currently available cannot identify the presence of HIV infection during the first few days after infection,"
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    Jan 04, 2013 1:22 PM GMT
    not_superman said
    sean_ny81 saidThank you for starting a petition and ignore some of these ignorant a-holes. I lie and donate blood every 3 months. I don't give a crap what the Blood banks say, I'm there to help innocent people who are in need of help. Not enough people donate so it IS important for every able bodied person to contribute.
    Your personal liability is too high to justify that.
    The only person I've fucked in the past year and a half is my monogamous boyfriend, but I still can't donate.
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    Jan 04, 2013 1:30 PM GMT
    In australia the rules are a little different.

    Same sex attraction doesn't factor in;

    Male to male sex including oral or anal gets you a ban for 12 months.

    Other than that there's no issue donating blood..

    I was a blood donor for 10 years duing a period where my Boyfreind and I didn't have sex.

    Now I also can't donate because of my tattoo's and piercings (4 months and 6 month bans respectively)
  • nomad4life

    Posts: 332

    Jan 04, 2013 11:51 PM GMT
    Well, thank you for feedback. To each his own. I just want to clarify some things and respond to others.

    On the point of producing false negative results in testing, we're not trying to lift the overall ban. Yes, anal sex is riskier than vaginal, and yes, the statistics are still higher in our group of people (despite that straight women are the fastest growing group of contracting it the past two years). So we're in favor of proposing timed bans, only accepting donations from men who have not had sex with a man in one year so the chances of a false positive appearing from a test becomes like 0.00000001%, and lower after that. I'm also trying to get the others to approve of multiple tests for blood from MSM since since there's like a 0% chance 2-3 tests will all turn up false negative, but they're not so keen on idea feeling the opponents would use price and cost against us.

    To KKim11 and LuckyGuyKC, I do know of the other restrictions. Both my sis and bro can't donate because they have tattoos. But I'm just putting my efforts on the gay restriction.

    To whytehot, I'm not trying to validate myself. I do have my personal reasons why I want to be able to donate. If you (or anyone else) would like to know why you can private message me.

    To LuckyGuyKC, I'm sorry for those people who contracted it, I really am. But I can't let three cases in the past 10 years stop me. Other things have made it through, and from "straight" donators (eg. 11 cases of West Nile Virus since 2003, and don't go saying "west nile hasn't been around as long" because it has).

    They're being cautious, but it's an overcaution (not a real word, mind you) from the 80s when there were so many more biases against gays.
  • IamEvan

    Posts: 49

    Jan 05, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    I don't really give a shit. This way, I don't have to feel guilty about not giving blood. Chumps don't want the help? Chumps don't get the help.
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    Jan 05, 2013 3:33 AM GMT
    Damn window period. Blood banks are held responsible for spreading the disease during the 80's because they did not want to pay for any testing. I have to admit I don't want blood banks to be less than cautious until better testing arrives.

    A gay man who made choices to avoid contracting HIV would be devastated if he was infected by a transfusion. I would be the anguished poster child.

    Worse, I suspect my straight friends are putting me at risk.