Giving blood - my views

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by manccock, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. manccock

    manccock Member

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    Why is it that a gay or bisexual man who practises safe sex is not allowed to give blood?
    Surely they test the blood first to find out if you have any diseases or whatever, so whats the problem?
    Do they presume that every man of that inclination sleeps around and doesn't use protection? If so then that is very prejudiced. Then they go and complain that there aren't enough blood donors. If they let gay and bisexual men give blood they probably wouldn't be in such a pickle.
    The reason I am writing this is that I have a rare blood type and therefore I think I should give blood. Due to my having protected sex with another man just over a year ago, I can't. This issue pisses me off more than anything ever has.

    I'm sorry for the rant, it is now over.
     
  2. Osiris

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    That is discrimination, end of. If I were you, I would have your doctor run a blood panel on you, when it comes back clean, I'd give them what for and show them proof.

    I am sure they will try to claim the reason they did this was due to a blood contamination that was due to a HIV infected person getting blood into the system.

    First, that incident happened over a decade ago.

    Second, it was ruled the fault of the blood bank because they did not filter and test the blood.

    It amazes me that if their concern is contamination, they should ask for blood screens prior to giving. Who is to say there isn't a straight person out there with AIDS trying to contaminate the blood pool?

    You have every right to be pissed on this one.
     
  3. Industrialsize

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    Unfortunately there is at least a 3 week lag between exposure to hiv and it showing up in your blood, so a clean bill of health on the day that you donate doesn't mean a thing.
     
  4. ManlyBanisters

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    They don't have the funds to screen every single unit of blood they take from donors.

    I think it is thoroughly stupid that certain people are excluded because of belonging to what is deemed to be slightly higher risk group. Straight men and straight, bi, gay women are all capable of contracting HIV and other blood born STD's but those 'groups' are OK to give blood if they haven't had an unprotected encounter - but gay/bi men aren't. It is silly - an unprotected encounter is an unprotected encounter. And even if it is OK to exclude bi men (which it isn't) how does a straight woman know that the guy she fucked was 100% straight and hadn't been with a gay guy* in the last year - shouldn't she be excluded too - even though she used a condom too.

    In short - it is dumb. They are trusting people who donate to do so honestly and if a person has been less than cautious in sexual encounters then that person should not donate, regardless of the nature of the encounter. End of story.

    * Edit - not that it is OK to exclude gay guys either - if they are going to trust straight people to be honest about safe sex it is pretty wrong not to trust gay people (men specifically) on the same. That's my point.
     
  5. Rugbypup

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    I didnt know that, frankly its a bit shit too. I happen to be a very uncommon blood type, and i know im clean of any illnesses, not allowing me to give blood really is allowing someone else to suffer through prejudice of my sexuality.
     
  6. SpeedoMike

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    don't blame the blood banks; it's a federal (USA) requirement.
     
  7. alex8.5

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    Even though I have been with same man for 15 years and still pratice safe sex every time, they still don't want my blood... Because of this decision someone might die...
     
  8. Osiris

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    Damn! I forgot that fact. And were the OP to get a blood test, the arguement could be made what have you done in the 3 weeks following this test?

    A vicious cycle.

    Depending on the blood center, that is true, but some of the larger ones do filter and screen. I guess it just depends on who you go to.

    It's a Federal mandate to just deny someone merely for being gay? That doesn't sounds right. If the theory is AIDS is more prevalent in a gay person, I think the stats will show that there are just as many cases in heterosexuals, if not more than, in gay people.
     
  9. ManlyBanisters

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    I was refering to the NHS - mancock's location shows Manchester, so I am assuming he is talking about the NHS in the UK.
     
  10. Osiris

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    OK, that would make sense, but I still don't see how this is a rational way to handle things. I would think, even given the point that Industrialsize points out, that there would be some way to avoid this very discriminatory act.
     
  11. manccock

    manccock Member

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    Yes I am ManlyBanisters.

    Another odd thing is that I can donate my organs after I die. Me thinks the NHS is a little hypocritical on occasion.
     
  12. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Several months ago, they had four transplant patients in Chicago get both HIV and Hep C from an organ donor whose blood tested clean, specifically because of that three week lag. I don't know that the donor was gay or not, but it doesn't really matter. I, too, think the rule is shit. If you are having sex, you are at risk, in my opinion. I don't think your sexual orientation should play a role.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/health/13cnd-organ.html?em
     
  13. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Before my brother was HIV positive, he got turned down for donating blood simply because of his sexuality. That was at the big blood bank down on 40th and Main St. I don't know if it's legal or not, but I DO know that it happens regularly in the US.

    *Edit* I did just find this, though: Why Gay Men Can't Donate Blood
     
  14. ManlyBanisters

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    Well quite - they take the word of people who say they are straight (and female bisexuals, homosexuals I assume - in fact I don't think they ask those questions of women - they didn't last time I gave blood in Ireland) so why not take the word of everyone. Like alex8.5 says - he's in a monogomous relationship and is clear of anything potentially harmful - why won't they trust him but they will trust me. That's not right.
     
  15. Dave NoCal

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    It's not rational and goes back to the anti-gay HIV hysteria of the 80s. Epidemiologically, it would probably make more sense to exclude African American and Latina women. Let's see how well that would fly.
    Plus, there are other blood-borne diseases out there that they aren't even paying attention to. The CDC reoirts that there were around 20,000 cases of Lyme disease reported in 2005 (I think it was). This number is thought to represent under-reporting by a factor of (drum roll, please) TEN. It doesn't generally kill you, right off the bat, but will definately make you sick the rest of your life if not aggressively treated in the first year. Believe me, I know.
    Dave
     
  16. alex8.5

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    Thank you. I thought and said the same thing to a blood bank, you won't take my blood, but if I die you'll take my organs which my blood is pumping with. Makes no sense...
     
  17. Rugbypup

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    Less that a 10th of the wester population has my blood type, not allowing me to donate is bloody stupid.
     
  18. manccock

    manccock Member

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    I have a good mind to donate a few times, not telling them that I am bisexual, let them see that I don't have a disease and then after a good few donations finally tell them that I am. Would they take the blood back out of the people it has gone to? I highly doubt it.
     
  19. mindseye

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    I'll vouch for what SpeedoMike posted. It's not the Red Cross's decision; it's an FDA ban that dates back to 1985.

    In the 22 years since then, the accuracy of HIV screens has improved by several orders of magnitude. The ability to screen for HIV is so close to 100% accurate today that if the ban were lifted, the number of HIV-tainted pints of blood that slipped through the screening process would increase by only three per century.


     
  20. Osiris

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    Oddly enough the incident I was referring to in that original post happened at that very blood center. That particular center (Community Blood Center) does have filtration and screening. They started after that incident. So for them to take that stance if bullshit in my book.

    It will be OK to harvest you for organs until it comes out that someone contracted HIV from an organ transplant then it will be mandatory to declare your sexuality on your drivers license if you list yourself as an organ donor. Hypocrisy rules the day.
     
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