Blood donations in the UK and elsewhere, and the Gay / Bi community

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_stanmarsh14, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. B_stanmarsh14

    B_stanmarsh14 New Member

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    Some of you who know me well, know I reg give blood, and yesterday, tried for platelet donation, but could not do that, due to the veins in my arm being on the small side.

    Anyways, in chat today, and was reminded by this.....

    The Labour group on Nottingham City Council is split over gay blood donations

    As the current NBS / NHS rules are in the UK, if you are gay / bi, then they will NOT permit you to give blood.

    Now, as this MP in Nottingham Alex Foster puts it (Whom is gay himself), it basically makes out all gay's / Bi's as riddled with VD etc, and is making out that this group to be so much of a high risk, that there is no way they can safety give blood, yet in truth, there is a nonsensical difference in risk at worst, and that places like Australia and a few others (I can not remember off the top of my head which countries they are) are happy enough to accept donations from this group.

    So, my question would be..... if you ever had the need, would you accept a blood donation, knowing it came from a gay / bi person?

    My answer..... yes!

    Your thoughts / comments?
     
  2. Endued

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    I had no idea this was the case. Wouldn't have expected something like that in 2010.
     
  3. luka82

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    It`s a shame. Every healthy person should be able to give blood.
    In Serbia they don`t ask about your orientation. They ask if you had any unprotected sex during the six month period.
     
  4. DV8

    DV8
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    Absolutely- it's 2010, and I'm smart enough to know that realistically, I run just as much of a chance getting infected blood from a gay/bi person as I would with a straight one. The policy isn't a health hazard, it's ignorance.
     
  5. flame boy

    flame boy Account Disabled

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    I tried to give blood a couple of years ago and I was unaware of this rule, when I told the lady who was going to take my blood that I was gay I was quickly asked to leave. I didn't kick off much of a fuss but I asked for an explanation of why I was being ushered out so hastily and she said I was not allowed to give blood.

    I can't believe this is still part of the law, it was really shameful to be treated like I had a deadly contagious disease. There was no thank you for coming along and offering to donate blood (which more people should do), instead I was asked to leave. I've not been kicked out of many places in my lifetime, but a Blood Drive Van is certainly the most embarrassing venue.

    I know that blood is carefully screened so that infection or disease is not spread via transfusion - so their explanation that it's to protect the quality of the blood is both offensive and untrue.

    I want to give blood and help out, but the fact I (and many others) have been treated as if we are harbingers of doom is quite off putting. There are adverts in the UK telling people how critically low the blood donation levels are, yet the NHS still turns people away and isn't hiding the fact on their website. The law needs to change but even this will not convince some people that their blood is wanted.
     
  6. BIG_DAVE

    BIG_DAVE Active Member

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    I fail to see how someone's orientation would effect infected blood. If your putting your dick into someone you don't know BAG UP guy or girl regardless. If anything I would of thought that gay/bi men stood less chance of contracting anything concidering the massive drive of safe sex in the gay community. In the gay clubs I've been to (yes quite a few but dammit I'm a sucker for the music!) it's not uncommon to see condoms given away for free, where's in your local wetherspoons where the chav girls frequent you'd never get anything like that but you'd put the house on more couples shagging at the end of a 2-4-1 promotion night in solihull.
     
  7. jacko_9

    jacko_9 New Member

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    I regularly give blood in the UK also. I read recently that this 'gay/bi' rule is currently under review due to the reduced risk of infection. From what I've been told the rule was put in place as it is considered that most gay men have unprotected anal sex every 6 months and therefore are at risk to infection. Now what ever the health facts are whether this is a risk or not the rule was put in place to save the cost for testing every patient who has had unprotected sex.

    I think the rule should be simple for all -

    Have you had unprotected anal sex in the past 6 months? Yes/No

    I don't think sexual orientation is important as if the answer is yes to the above then you can not give blood! But say you had sex 7 months ago and carry an infection? This is a book of worms and there is no easy answer but I agree to the fact - if he blood is clean then I will accept it in a transfusion!
     
  8. B_stanmarsh14

    B_stanmarsh14 New Member

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    #8 B_stanmarsh14, Aug 13, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  9. D_Andreas Sukov

    D_Andreas Sukov Account Disabled

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    Its not just gay/bi men. Anyone who has had sex with someone who has had sex with someone who has had sex with a gay/bi man, is also not allowed. Including me.


    Its a fucking disgrace. Does the same apply for organs, as i am a registered organ doner.
     
  10. flame boy

    flame boy Account Disabled

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    Gay people can indeed be organ donors - only those who have HIV or CJD are not permitted to be a donor. The official line from the NHS Blood Service is you can never give blood if "You're a man who's had sex with another man, even safe sex using a condom."
     
  11. Jason

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    The National Blood Service website (with the great url www.blood.co.uk) states:

    "Many of the rules implemented in the UK on who can give blood are a requirement of European law".

    Does the restriction on gay people giving blood reflect a UK rule or is it an EU law that we are obliged to follow?
     
  12. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    Here are the guidelines for giving blood in the USA:
    You should not give blood if you have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test, or if you have done something that puts you at risk for becoming infected with HIV.

    You are at risk for getting infected if you:
    • have ever used needles to take drugs, steroids, or anything not prescribed by your doctor
    • are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977
    • have ever taken money, drugs or other payment for sex since 1977
    • have had sexual contact in the past 12 months with anyone described above
    • received clotting factor concentrates for a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia
    • were born in, or lived in, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea,Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria, since 1977
    • since 1977, received a blood transfusion or medical treatment with a blood product in any of these countries, or
    • had sex with anyone who, since 1977, was born in or lived in any of these countries.
     
  13. ColoradoGuy

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    These guidelines are from the page on the Red Cross website for listing potential eligibility issues for "HIV/ AIDS". But they are just part of the total guidelines published there. You might be surprised to see there are a lot of disqualifiers on the list. Read up if you'd like to know more and if you're eligible to donate blood, please do for the rest of us. I'm O-pos. :biggrin1:
     
  14. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I wonder if anyone has stats on this claim.
    (Which could very well be true.)


    I wonder if anyone has stats on the false-negative rate for this screening.

    I'm not able to give blood because I lived in France for more than six months during the mid 1980s.
    I think this is in response to Mad Cow disease.

    I can understand anyone feeling slighted for not being allowed to give blood.
    But I don't think we should regard donating as a right.
    The blood agencies can certainly make stupid decisions, but it's their duty to protect the blood the best they can, by their own lights.
    One hopes that they will listen to reasonable arguments against any specific regulations, of course.
     
  15. dandelion

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    I would say the reason gay people can give organs but not blood is because in reality there is not a shortage of blood. Quite a lot of people are willing to give up a pint of blood every now and then but few volunteer to give a heart each year or two. Do people take blood when they do organ harvesting from the deceased? A declaration of a blood shortage usually results in volunteers coming forward.

    I rember hearing a justification of the ban. It was because the statistical chance of someone being gay also being infected with something incurable was significantly higher than someone straight. That was simple proveably mathematics. A small risk either way, but a clear difference. Then, no sure test of HIV infection until 6 months after the event (thus the timelimit). Since gays are a relatively small proportion (discounting all you guys claiming to be 99%-1% straight), if you eliminate them, you still keep most of the blood supply. If you eliminate the higher risk blood then statistically that means fewer people unnecessarily infected with an incurable disease. How many accidental but also avoidable cases of HIV infection is acceptable? If you were one of those who caught the disease from blood, would you be happy that the blood service had accepted gay blood and doubled the number of people being infected? I dont think I would.
     
    #15 dandelion, Aug 13, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  16. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    You can donate organs if you are gay though in some states in the USA it is a crime to knowingly offer your organs for donation if you know that you are HIV positive. Organs are screened for HIV and not implanted if found to be infected. They would then be used for "educational purposes".

    Medical Screening

    Donated organs and tissues are screened for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. If an HIV test is positive, the deceased donor's family could possibly be informed of the results.
    It is a crime in some states to try to donate organs or tissues if you know you are HIV positive and that the virus may be transmitted by a donation. If an HIV positive individual wants to donate organs or tissues for purposes such as research and education, specific arrangements should be made for such a donation with a medical research or educational facility.



    Organ Donation
     
  17. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    I don't believe in donating blood full dtop ever since I found out that the NHS sold it on @ £160/pint+ whenever they had a surplus.

    I have had blood leeched from me from a private company for £60 & £100 though(it depends on not eating & drinking for 24 hours)!

    They can test the blood quite easily - I think it's more a question of any ethical responsibility to inform a donor that they have a virus or disease - which of course they should!

    I find a lot of UK medical ethics abhorrent. Not treating smokers, but accepting their blood, not paying for sperm donation, despite recipients being able to choose the donor, & not allowing the donor to choose who receives their sperm ( which would be equal!).

    In both of these donor issues, as well as transplants, nothing is possible without the donor, yet doctors, nurses, administrators & patients all get tangible benefits, whereas from a £9,000 procedure the donor gets squat diddly.

    When you imagine a full donor giving eyes, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys etc, with a value of £40-50,000, it seems appalling that they can't even pay for a decent funeral!
     
  18. Guardian100

    Guardian100 Member

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    I had no idea this was the case, pity because anyone can take my blood since I'm O negative a universal donor.
     
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