Blood

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 1:25 AM GMT
    so i know in Qubec that you can't give blood if you've ever had sexual contact with a man who's had sexual contact with a man since 1977... or if if you're a guy, just sexual contact with a man since '77.

    how do you feel about this? prejudice? precautious?

    at McGill university for the last few years a group of students have protested the blood donor clinics on campus. and some have even gone public saying they lied on the the questionnaire and to the nurses when asked the questions about their past before donating.

    if you've received a blood transfusion you can't give, nor can you give for a multitude of reasons including living in certain countries between certain year or just having visit some.

    thought?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 1:39 AM GMT
    In my town, anyone who identifies as a man who has had sex with another man is not permitted to be a blood donor.

    In many ways, I do feel this is discriminatory. I personally know many hetrosexual men and women who are far more promiscuous than I have ever been. I also know many straight people who do not engage in safer sex. These people are not refused the right to give blood.

    In my part of the world, the Red Cross is always screaming out for more donors, and given my extremely safe history sexually, along with my medical check-ups regularly and caution about all things unsafe, I feel I am a very worthwhile candidate to give blood.
  • Alan95823

    Posts: 306

    Nov 21, 2007 3:30 AM GMT
    I'm in the U.S., and I have a friend who works for a blood bank. There are regulations that prohibit centers from accepting blood from any man who's had sexual contact with a man since 1977, or any person who has had more than 5 sexual partners since 1977.

    I think the rule is a tad extreme, but I guess they don't need my type O+ blood bad enough to change the rules.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:34 AM GMT
    I'm upset that in California I cant sell my sperm because Im gay.. thats a job I could have really enjoyed doing!
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:36 AM GMT
    Well, don't give up practising!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:39 AM GMT
    They asked me the same question on sex back in high school. I learned to just lie and move on with it.

    I don't think its as much prejudice as tradition from when gay men were seen alongside drug users as the major affected population from AIDS.

    When I was visiting Lake Champlain College up in Burlington I noticed a protest during a blood drive on the bias. I also noted the disgust from my parents as well as other parents in the tour about those "Liberal gays" always trying to get in the way of outstanding american services.
  • UVaRob9

    Posts: 282

    Nov 21, 2007 3:42 AM GMT
    It's pretty screwed up in the US. The Red Cross (?) says that it's not a prejudicial policy, but they say that men who have had homosexual contact since 1977 cannot donate blood. Too bad that my AB+ (2nd rarest in the US) can't be donated, nor can my boyfriend's AB- (the rarest). It's stupid. It's not like they ask before you get a blood transfusion "is it okay if we give you blood that came from a homosexual?" Blood is blood. As long as you've tested it, what's the diff?
  • Alan95823

    Posts: 306

    Nov 21, 2007 3:46 AM GMT
    I hear ya. I've been out for 20+ years, test negative every year, and have been celibate for 5 years, and they still won't take my blood. It's crazy, I can donate to almost everyone, and they won't take it.
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:52 AM GMT
    Well...I guess their worst nightmare is a seroconverting guy to give blood amd to actually use it on a patient.icon_sad.gif

    That would suck majorly.

    It's a better safe than sorry issue and I dont see whats so hard to understand anyway...icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:59 AM GMT
    All donated blood is tested and the policy makes me feel less of a person as a gay man by being denied the ability to give blood

    I think it is pure discrimination
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    Nov 21, 2007 4:02 AM GMT
    As someone recently faced with the risk of emergency blood transfusion(note the surgical cast <-) 'm glad they play it safe.

    That and they're probably to lazy to test the blood several times after its been stored.icon_neutral.gif

    Once they get past accepting homo blood they'll probably give the patient a choice on the sexuality of the blood they receice...icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 4:13 AM GMT
    Strange though, in my country they don't ask if you are an IV drug user.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Nov 21, 2007 4:29 AM GMT
    I'm O+, clean and can't donate.

    They should get with the times.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Nov 21, 2007 6:31 AM GMT
    It's largely a holdover from days when the HIV tests were a lot less accurate than they are now, and took longer to run than they do now. The Red Cross, if I recall correctly, actually recently petitioned the FDA to let them start accepting blood of men who have had sex with men to at least the level they allow the blood of men who have had sex with prostitutes, and it was the FDA that said no.

    Still, in reference to the rare AB blood types--those of us who are AB (I'm one of them) aren't really needed as blood donors. In the ABO blood group, A and B stand for two different molecules that can be expressed at the cell's surface. If you express just the A one you're type A; just the type B one, B; both, you're AB; neither, you're O. You can safely accept blood of any type expressing whatever types your blood naturally does, just not different ones. Therefore, anyone can take type O blood. Type A blood can be taken by type A and type AB patients. Type B blood can be taken by type B and type AB patients, and only type AB people can take type AB blood. We type AB folks are the universal recipients--vampires of the blood group world, we can accept any blood safely, as our body won't make antibodies to it. The refers to the Rh factor, in which + individuals can safely take either + or - blood, while - individuals (about 15% of the population) can only take - blood. So, really, our AB blood, either + or - is pretty useless as whole blood. We'd be better off being plasma donors, as the plasma doesn't contain blood cells which can cause others to develop antibodies and cause blood clots that can kill the recipient.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 12:51 PM GMT
    I used to give blood regularly as i thought it was a responsible thing to do, part of being a good citizen. Since the restrictions came in, i haven't given blood at all and i cannot say i am bothered by the fact.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2007 1:30 PM GMT
    I used to be totally on board with this policy because of the test-lag for seroconversion. Then I realized: in the States, African American and Hispanic women are the next largest "risk groups" for contracting HIV, though no one suggests (thank god) that they be barred from donating blood. If that had been the knee-jerk reaction back during the first scare, you can bet your homo buns someone would be frantically searching for a better way to screen blood rather than continue to enforce a blatantly discriminatory policy that literalizes the national fantasy of exclusive, lily-white "cleanliness."

    You cannot take a "treat all guns as loaded guns" stance with an entire demographic without betraying some deeply entrenched notions of what counts as an acceptable, (morally) clean human body.
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    Nov 21, 2007 2:45 PM GMT
    I'm O+, 99.5% celibate when single, and protected when dating - even then, I still get my blood tested and screened for STDs (all results still negative).

    So I lie at the blood donations.

    The social obligation of being a "universal donor" outweighs strict adherence to an outdated policy. So I have a few blemishes on my integrity as a law-abiding citizen, but who are we helping by not donating?
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:05 PM GMT
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-1113aidstransplant,0,7203700.story

    I heard this on the news last week. Is it going to lead to not being able to be a donater? How many of you guys are listed as an organ doner on you DL?
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    Nov 21, 2007 3:37 PM GMT
    If I remember correctly, anyone who has answered the blood donor questions about funky buttsex honestly and been turned away is placed on a national registry and cannot donate blood/components or organs through any FDA approved agency. So we're already pretty close to not allowing mo-donors. It's just a bit more roundabout, since they don't ask me about sex when I get my driver's license.
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    Nov 21, 2007 4:26 PM GMT
    I knew one of the guys who started this protest at McGill when I was a student there a few years ago.... I told them then that it was as unethical to lie on the questionnaire and donate than it was for HemaQuebec to deny them the opportunity to donate blood. That's not a way to win support, just make enemies.
  • SpartanJock

    Posts: 199

    Nov 21, 2007 5:09 PM GMT
    COMaleAll donated blood is tested and the policy makes me feel less of a person as a gay man by being denied the ability to give blood
    .
    This is actually not true. It is true all of the blood CAN be tested. However, it has been deemed not cost effective to do so. I believe that currently every 20 or so units are randomly tested. This level of screening is still a major cost factor.

    After 9/11, I did give blood and lied on the questionaire. However, the phlebotomist knew me and gave me some difficulty. I work in a large well known medical institution with over 30,000 employees, which also serves as a distribution center for the Amer Red Cross. What are the chances of actually knowing the tech??? In the end, I asked her if she could prove that I have had sex with men, and she relented. To this day, I think she still flagged that unit of blood. icon_evil.gif Luckily, there was not the need for blood as was initially thought.

    It is a very discriminatory regulation.
  • petemdc

    Posts: 136

    Nov 21, 2007 5:28 PM GMT
    I think that this is an interesting issue. It may be confounded even more considering a recent cases in the Chicago area where a person received an organ donation and contracted HIV and Hep C. I would be interested in seeing what anti-GLBT groups do to lobby their legislators on this issue.
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    Nov 23, 2007 4:52 AM GMT
    well i'm not sure. but i assume this whole thing here started because a while ago, either 80s or early 90s there were alot, ALOT of people in canada who got transfusions of tainted blood. hep C and other stuff.

    and in the 80s as i'm sure most of you know there was the whole AIDS epidemic (pandemic, whichever). leading to alot of people blaming the gay community for the tainted blood later on.