are gay men allowed to give blood?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 2:44 PM GMT
    i read an article that said that gay men are still not allowed to give blood blood since the 80's and it still remains that way today.
    but how would they know if they are gay unless you actually tell them and why are they still not allowed?
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    Mar 31, 2010 3:16 PM GMT
    Blood banks now have the newest in gaydar technology, they are just not releasing it to us mortals.

    From my understanding, there are whispers of changing the window of last sexual activity to donate blood. I believe now it is 1977? Proposed changes to no sex in last year, I think?

    This one really used to burn me, but after recently reading 'And the Band Played On' highlighted the drama blood banks went through in the early '80's, I can sympathize somewhat more.
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:30 PM GMT
    nope, but you can always lie in the application....just sayin
  • leixguy

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    Mar 31, 2010 4:39 PM GMT
    gays cant in ireland either (even if you have never as much as kissed another guy)
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:41 PM GMT
    I was banned for 271 years about a month ago.

    It felt really bad for a little while. Hmm..
  • pure_motion

    Posts: 156

    Mar 31, 2010 4:46 PM GMT
    Here in Australia, provided you haven't engaged in 'man-to-man intercourse' within the last 12 months, gay men can donate.
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    Mar 31, 2010 4:49 PM GMT
    The misconceptions amongst gays about this never fail to disappoint me. Being gay does not prevent you from giving blood. Having sex with another man does. So if you are a gay virgin there is no reason for you not to give blood. Equally if you are a married with kids guy who has the odd bit of gay sex on the side you can't give blood. It isn't anything to do with sexual orientation, only to do with sexual habits.

    The ban on gay men giving blood is based on large amounts of sound evidence that show that the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, most importantly Hepatitis B and C and HIV, are higher in that population than in any other. The total numbers are greater in the heterosexual population but the percentage is much higher in the homosexual one. As the tests are not 100% sensitive and have significant lag windows - the period of time between when the person is infected (and therefore can pass on the infection) and the point at which the test becomes positive - the ban on homosexuals giving blood is the only way to try and keep the patient safe.

    Anyone who says they have a 'right' to give blood is sorely mistaken and frankly extremely arrogant. The only person who has a 'right' in the whole equation is the patient, who has a 'right' to receive treatment which is as safe as possible.

    As soon as the STI rates in the homosexual population are the same as the heterosexual one then there is a good chance the policy will change as blood is in short supply. Until then the current policy is only sensible.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 31, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Get educated on this one, please. It has to do with the FDA. There are numerous threads about this on RJ. Yes, they do tests on the blood, but the questions are an extra precaution. Yes, you can lie, but hopefully that would be some type of felony or crime and would hold consequences. If you want to help, volunteer to work at a blood drive through Red Cross. It is not Red Cross's stipulations, but the FDA's, which is also responsible for the quality of blood at blood banks in the U.S.

    I've volunteered at Red Cross and I see lots of gay guys I know give blood. Mostly total closet cases already in a relationship, that just wants to prove to their boss that they "ain't no queer" and can give blood.

    Totally. Fucked. Up.
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:00 PM GMT
    scotsguy said - the ban on homosexuals giving blood is the only way to try and keep the patient safe.

    Donated blood is tested before being used. If it weren't possible to check for HIV after the draw, then the blood supply would be unsafe, because some donors are poz without knowing they are, and they wouldn't necessarily be gay, either. Therefore a pre-donation screening would not catch them, and their HIV-poz blood enters the system.

    Various health organization in the US have come out against blocking sexually active gay men from giving blood. And since most gay men are, may become or have been sexually active, it is not a stretch to simply say gay men are barred, even though technically it is the gay sexual activity that is the issue.
  • pure_motion

    Posts: 156

    Mar 31, 2010 5:07 PM GMT
    scotsguy said
    Anyone who says they have a 'right' to give blood is sorely mistaken and frankly extremely arrogant. The only person who has a 'right' in the whole equation is the patient, who has a 'right' to receive treatment which is as safe as possible.


    I think a lot of people get upset about this because they lack the 'right' to be treated as a heterosexual donor would. For instance, my heterosexual friend who has had unprotected sex with a girl 10 months ago and is unaware of his STI status was allowed to give blood, whereas a man who had been in a monogamous sexual relationship with another man for over a year, who always used protection and who had regular STI tests would be excluded.

    People tend to get a bit pissy over double standards.

    That said, I think the Red Cross is just being responsible and looking at the issue objectively. One group has a significantly higher occurrence of HIV than another, so in the interests of the patients, it's probably best to exclude, or at least restrict, that group.
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Mar 31, 2010 5:22 PM GMT
    pure_motion said
    scotsguy said
    Anyone who says they have a 'right' to give blood is sorely mistaken and frankly extremely arrogant. The only person who has a 'right' in the whole equation is the patient, who has a 'right' to receive treatment which is as safe as possible.


    I think a lot of people get upset about this because they lack the 'right' to be treated as a heterosexual donor would. For instance, my heterosexual friend who has had unprotected sex with a girl 10 months ago and is unaware of his STI status was allowed to give blood, whereas a man who had been in a monogamous sexual relationship with another man for over a year, who always used protection and who had regular STI tests would be excluded.

    People tend to get a bit pissy over double standards.

    That said, I think the Red Cross is just being responsible and looking at the issue objectively. One group has a significantly higher occurrence of HIV than another, so in the interests of the patients, it's probably best to exclude, or at least restrict, that group.


    The Red Cross is just following the letter of law established by the FDA which is the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for blood quality in the U.S. When people give blood at blood drive events there are representatives of the FDA on location making sure Red Cross does things according to the law. The Red Cross did not make up the questionnaire and are just following orders.
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    scotsguy said
    Anyone who says they have a 'right' to give blood is sorely mistaken and frankly extremely arrogant. The only person who has a 'right' in the whole equation is the patient, who has a 'right' to receive treatment which is as safe as possible.

    As soon as the STI rates in the homosexual population are the same as the heterosexual one then there is a good chance the policy will change as blood is in short supply. Until then the current policy is only sensible.


    A homophobic headless person. Now there's a surprise.
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:41 PM GMT
    No we aren't, something that will hopefully get changed eventually. But not a pressing issue, this is an area where masculinity and the ability to blend in helps.. but ive seen some flamers at my local center
  • pure_motion

    Posts: 156

    Mar 31, 2010 5:41 PM GMT
    Celticmusl said
    The Red Cross is just following the letter of law established by the FDA which is the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for blood quality in the U.S. When people give blood at blood drive events there are representatives of the FDA on location making sure Red Cross does things according to the law. The Red Cross did not make up the questionnaire and are just following orders.


    Sorry, was talking about in Australia, where the Red Cross is in charge of those. If it's the FDA in the US, and if I understand what goes on with restrictions on donations over there, then I agree with the decisions they've made.

    EDIT: Actually, I really don't know what goes on over there icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:44 PM GMT
    pure_motion saidEDIT: Actually, I really don't know what goes on over there icon_razz.gif

    Actually, neither do those of us living here. icon_sad.gif
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    Mar 31, 2010 5:59 PM GMT
    scotsguy said
    The ban on gay men giving blood is based on large amounts of sound evidence that show that the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, most importantly Hepatitis B and C and HIV, are higher in that population than in any other.


    Actually, from all of the more recent research and evidence, the law in the US banning "males who have had sex with another male, even once, since 1977" is completely unfounded in science. This was established in a time when testing for HIV wasn't nearly as accurate or sound as it is now. Generally, antibodies are detectable within the blood after about three weeks from infection.

    None of the questions have anything to do with unprotected sex, just the gender, inasmuch, it really doesn't accurately reflect what modern science has to say about STI's.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Mar 31, 2010 8:08 PM GMT
    That's exactly it.

    I was just asked if I ever had sex with a man. That is really vague. What do they mean by sex? That can be anything from anal penetration to kissing. Yes kissing can be considered sex.. If they are going to make generalizations at least do it by sexual practice and apply it to all people.

    Gay people don't like it because it assumes that all gay people are diseased and enforces the stigma that gays are diseased and adds weight to the argument that being gay is therefore wrong. That's the problem.

    Blacks are a much smaller percent of the population yet have one of the highest rates for HIV - they aren't banned from donating..
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Mar 31, 2010 8:14 PM GMT
    pure_motion saidHere in Australia, provided you haven't engaged in 'man-to-man intercourse' within the last 12 months, gay men can donate.



    It's beyond official I'm moving to Australia after college. icon_biggrin.gif I was super embarrasses about a month ago when they turned me down in from of everyone, but they turned me down because I lived in Europe for the past 7 years and they guy was like "it's because of the Mad Cow, you could very well have Mad Cow right now" and I said "Do you seriously think I'd be here if I had Mad Cow at the moment?" and I was like Whatever I'm moving out this bitch anyway.
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    Mar 31, 2010 8:26 PM GMT
    pure_motion said
    That said, I think the Red Cross is just being responsible and looking at the issue objectively. One group has a significantly higher occurrence of HIV than another, so in the interests of the patients, it's probably best to exclude, or at least restrict, that group.


    Hmm... Let me rephrase this in a different context.

    The black community has a significantly higher occurrence of being imprisoned than another, so to the interest of society, it's probably best to exclude, or at least restrict, that group.

    1) In the interest of the patients, to keep them safe, we should exclude gays from giving blood. Well... the same argument can be made to protect society from blacks. Not only is the original text in red wrong, but it's borderline racist.
    2) Like other people have said, straight people can give blood when they don't even know if they are carrying any STIs just because they don't check a single box...

    The only objectives the Red Cross is trying to pursue are apathy and ignorance.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 8:26 PM GMT
    Yeah, I was literally banned until the next century. I don't care. I know my blood is perfectly fine. If they don't want it, they can go f*** themselves. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 8:53 PM GMT
    Yeah they ask if you've had sex with males...just say no. I do all the time I even volunteer and help with blood drives I just don't tell them who I really are. Its hard but I get practice whenever I go home. ha I fool their gaydar! hehe
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 9:43 PM GMT
    ... then there's THIS topic :

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/892823


    and on it is advice to treat all bfs etc like they're HIV+...which is what the blood bank is doing....



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 31, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    yngstud4mscl saidHmm... Let me rephrase this in a different context.

    The black community has a significantly higher occurrence of being imprisoned than another, so to the interest of society, it's probably best to exclude, or at least restrict, that group...

    The last time I attempted to donate blood, right after 9/11, one of the screening questions was whether I had ever been jailed for more than 72 hours. I never have been. I was told this was asked because of the high probability a male would be anally raped in a US jail after being there 72 hours. Nice country, huh? Our jails are totally out of control, little better than the Turkish ones featured in Midnight Express.

    This was the same time when I was also asked about being gay, which I answered in the affirmative, and was told I was now barred from giving blood for the rest of my life. Me, a retired, decorated US Army Colonel, turned away from donating blood during a national crisis. Indeed, nice country, now in the hands of complete assholes.
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    Mar 31, 2010 10:26 PM GMT
    scotsguy saidThe misconceptions amongst gays about this never fail to disappoint me. Being gay does not prevent you from giving blood. Having sex with another man does. So if you are a gay virgin there is no reason for you not to give blood. Equally if you are a married with kids guy who has the odd bit of gay sex on the side you can't give blood. It isn't anything to do with sexual orientation, only to do with sexual habits.

    The ban on gay men giving blood is based on large amounts of sound evidence that show that the rates of sexually transmitted diseases, most importantly Hepatitis B and C and HIV, are higher in that population than in any other. The total numbers are greater in the heterosexual population but the percentage is much higher in the homosexual one. As the tests are not 100% sensitive and have significant lag windows - the period of time between when the person is infected (and therefore can pass on the infection) and the point at which the test becomes positive - the ban on homosexuals giving blood is the only way to try and keep the patient safe.

    Anyone who says they have a 'right' to give blood is sorely mistaken and frankly extremely arrogant. The only person who has a 'right' in the whole equation is the patient, who has a 'right' to receive treatment which is as safe as possible.

    As soon as the STI rates in the homosexual population are the same as the heterosexual one then there is a good chance the policy will change as blood is in short supply. Until then the current policy is only sensible.


    Well said.
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    Mar 31, 2010 10:50 PM GMT
    With the way HIV mutates, unless there's a crisis shortage of blood, I see no reason not to take an extra precaution about where to solicit blood donations. I'm pretty sure that science understands there's nothing gay about blood, and they also understand that this is an area where perhaps it's better to err on the side of caution. I'm sure they also understand that their screening method (a questionairre) is not going to weed out everyone they'd like to and that their blood testing methods will only take them so far. I don't see this as a homophobic situation, as lesbians are free to give blood.