Man, this is not about rights of our community, this is about safety. Tests can recognize ze HIV after about 10 days since transfer. Let's face objective facts - most of HIV positive patients in western countries are gay men. That's the fact and politically correct attitude will change nothing about it. As a group, we are a risk.. But every person, no matter if gay or straight, which confirm anal sex is automatically rejected from donating blood. They even take the blood, but they never use that. It's a safety protocol. You're young, You can't remember the panic on the end of 80's when there were several infections due transfer of blood. Most famous victim is Isaac Asimov, that writer. He got infected blood during surgery. HIV isn't choosing it's victims by character. Rejecting gay men from giving blood has simply statistical reason. The level of danger is simply too high...
In what? I wrote patients in western countries. Yes, Asia and Africa has much higher level of infected women, but not US and not Europe. BTW, stand art tests are accepted as valid after 8 weeks since risky sex. Tests used for given blood are more precise, but other still is a gap. There still is a risk. May be You shall consult this with some hematologist or better specialist on infections...
I work with the HIV/AIDS community. All donated blood in the US is screened for HIV before being used. If it weren't, and the screening wasn't effective, the entire blood supply would be unsafe.
Because many people don't know they have HIV, but donate blood. And others lie about having HIV when they donate. If there wasn't an effective blood screening process the donation system would collapse.
All the major US health organizations recommend allowing gay men to donate blood. The obstacle is purely political, not medical.
Both Art_Deco and Acturian raise true points. All blood regardless of the donor is screened for HIV/AIDS so a higher frequency of that particular virus is irrelevant. At the margin it wouldn't cost them a dime extra. However, consider the size of the gay community (which predominately makes up the MSM community). If MSM are equally promiscuous as completely heterosexual men (which most surveys seem to suggest), the degrees of separation between you and someone infected with an STD/STI for which there is no easily scalable test are far, far fewer, thereby dramatically increasing the probability of contracting it. It then follows that a higher proportion of blood taken from a random sampling of MSMvis much more likely to contain possible blood borne illnesses for which tests cannot be scaled in a cost effective way.
If MSM were to regularly donate blood in proportion to non MSM donors, it might increase the total blood supply by about 10% at best. If 3%-5% of non MSM blood donations contain viruses mentioned above and 10% or so MSM donations do, then realistically the statistical risk of allowing MSM donations is an increase in the *contaminated* blood supply of 20%-33% in exchange for a 9% increase in safe blood. Again, this isn't HIV/AIDS, but other blood borne viruses. Once screening for those viruses becomes cost effective and scalable, then those numbers will dramatically improve. (I'm not sure if those are the absolute values, but the proportions seem realistic, which is where the 20-33% comes from).
Just to clarify, I'm making the point that it seems like much less about discrimination towards gay men, and more of a cost vs. benefit issue (at this point). Also, by scalable I mean that it is efficient to test every donation. At present, whatever the actual % of donations that contain these viruses is within a tolerable range without the need to screen every sample, but pushing that % higher would require testing every donation.
A simple solution is to require MSM to provide documentation of complete testing at an approved facility within an appropriate time frame. It removes the need to employ inefficient, large scale testing. I have been tested recently at a clinic with squeaky clean results and would love to be able to donate blood and should be able to if I can prove it.