Healthy Gay Men Must Be Allowed to Do...

Healthy Gay Men Must Be Allowed to Donate Blood, Says GMHC

There are 101 comments on the EDGE story from Mar 8, 2013, titled Healthy Gay Men Must Be Allowed to Donate Blood, Says GMHC. In it, EDGE reports that:

Tired of the bureaucratic foot-dragging, the Gay Men's Health Crisis has teamed up with the Sarah Lawrence College Student Life Committee and the Student Senate to create a We The People online petition to demand that the President Barack Obama force the Food and Drug Administration to reform their policy preventing gay men from donating blood.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at EDGE.

Blood bank lab tech

Ocala, FL

#28 Mar 9, 2013
Not Yet Equal wrote:
<quoted text>
All blood it tested for HIV.
Do you really not know this?
I do the testing myself. And yes, all donated blood IS screened for HIV, but NOT using the latest very expensive test that can indicate very RECENT exposure.
Not Yet Equal wrote:
<quoted text>
Risk screening should be used to separate out anyone who has engaged in high risk behavior rather than focusing on sexual orientation.
The question reads: "Male donors: Since 1977, have had sexual contact with another male, even once?"

That is not a question about the potential donor's sexual orientation, but about his BEHAVIOR since 1977. A "yes" answer, even in cases of rape, results in permanent deferral from donating blood.
There is no reason to exclude people who are not infected and have not had the opportunity to become infected in a year.
Yes there is. HIV can go undetected for a VERY long time. And infection rates remain highest by FAR among males who have engaged in sexual relations with other males. Even if they identify as "straight."
While the virus can go undetected for a month or more, the new policy would require no risk of exposure within a year, which is plenty of time to develop the antibodies which would show up in the repeated testing.
First, your statement is simply false. And second, REPEATED testing is not ordinarily done on each sample. If it shows up in a sample, and that donor has donated blood in the past, EVERY SINGLE recipient of that donor's previous blood donations (and it could be up to three persons per donation) has to be notified and tested. The cost of doing that is astronomical.

Blood banks are non-profits. Why bankrupt a lifesaving non-profit organization just to avoid hurting the feelings of high-risk donors?

This entire debate is patently STUPID, since the purpose of donating blood is to help the community rather than to assert some imagined societal approval of high risk behavior. If a way can be found to INEXPENSIVELY test for HIV antibodies that show up much earlier following exposure, MAYBE a one-year provision could make sense. But to insist that non-profits spend millions on super-expensive testing rather than simply ask donors about high-risk sexual behavior is endanger every community's ability to maintain a ready blood supply.

You're effectively asking the rest of us to forgo a ready blood supply so that homosexuals won't be offended. Our society is already sacrificing too much to avoid offending Muslims, women, blacks, native Americans, and every other "special class" that demands it.

There is no such thing as the "right" to not be offended. And there is no such thing as a "right" to donate blood, and to jeopardize the blood supply with a lethal plague just to avoid offending some "special" class of people.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#30 Mar 9, 2013
Curteese wrote:
<quoted text>So some slutty girl, or promiscuous man, she who has sex with many men, or he with many prostitutes, can waltz in and give blood and NO one will ask him or her anything? Sounds safe to me...let's hook you up to him or her, shall we? Roll up your sleeve!
I mean since he or she are straight, then he or she are IMMUNE to blood disease, according to YOUR ahem, cough cough,*logic**.
Actually, the questions they ask would very likely cull those people out, too. I just gave blood a couple of weeks ago. The questions are fresh in my mind.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#31 Mar 9, 2013
Blood bank lab tech wrote:
<quoted text>
I do the testing myself. And yes, all donated blood IS screened for HIV, but NOT using the latest very expensive test that can indicate very RECENT exposure.
<quoted text>
The question reads: "Male donors: Since 1977, have had sexual contact with another male, even once?"
That is not a question about the potential donor's sexual orientation, but about his BEHAVIOR since 1977. A "yes" answer, even in cases of rape, results in permanent deferral from donating blood.
<quoted text>
Yes there is. HIV can go undetected for a VERY long time. And infection rates remain highest by FAR among males who have engaged in sexual relations with other males. Even if they identify as "straight."
<quoted text>
First, your statement is simply false. And second, REPEATED testing is not ordinarily done on each sample. If it shows up in a sample, and that donor has donated blood in the past, EVERY SINGLE recipient of that donor's previous blood donations (and it could be up to three persons per donation) has to be notified and tested. The cost of doing that is astronomical.
Blood banks are non-profits. Why bankrupt a lifesaving non-profit organization just to avoid hurting the feelings of high-risk donors?
This entire debate is patently STUPID, since the purpose of donating blood is to help the community rather than to assert some imagined societal approval of high risk behavior. If a way can be found to INEXPENSIVELY test for HIV antibodies that show up much earlier following exposure, MAYBE a one-year provision could make sense. But to insist that non-profits spend millions on super-expensive testing rather than simply ask donors about high-risk sexual behavior is endanger every community's ability to maintain a ready blood supply.
You're effectively asking the rest of us to forgo a ready blood supply so that homosexuals won't be offended. Our society is already sacrificing too much to avoid offending Muslims, women, blacks, native Americans, and every other "special class" that demands it.
There is no such thing as the "right" to not be offended. And there is no such thing as a "right" to donate blood, and to jeopardize the blood supply with a lethal plague just to avoid offending some "special" class of people.
Very well explained! Thanks for posting that. I think gays should start a gay blood bank, if they think gay blood is so safe. It would nicely solve the problem. Gays could donate, and the rest of us could worry less about bad stuff in the blood.
Blood Bank Lab Tech

Ocala, FL

#32 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, the questions they ask would very likely cull those people out, too. I just gave blood a couple of weeks ago. The questions are fresh in my mind.
We have two goals in mind with those questions:
DONOR SAFETY: That is the reason for questions about heart and lung problems, weight (donors weighing less than 115 pounds are deferred), recent surgery and other medical treatment, etc.
PRODUCT PURITY: The reason behind questions about travel, residence, family history, sexual history, medication history, and some medical history.
Absolutely NONE of the questions have anything to do with race, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, level of education, religious affiliation, or any other such thing.
ANY PERSON, regardless of their sexual orientation, who has been sexually intimate with a prostitute is permanently deferred. Anyone who lives with a person who has had hepatitis may be deferred (with exceptions for Hep C, asymptomatic for > 1 year and not under a doctor's care for it). Women who have ever been pregnant may not donate plasma (with exceptions), but may donate platelets and red cells. People who have had an endoscopic procedure (with biopsy) are deferred for 4 months. Some cancer patients are deferred for a time, but may donate later under circumstances. Anyone who has come into direct contact with someone else' blood - even in the course of caring for them as a medical provider - is deferred for a time. Some blood banks differ when it comes to medical conditions like hemachromatosis and in situ (isolated) skin cancers.
Most of these requirements are in the Code of Federal Regulations and enforced by the FDA. The FDA does not write regulations that allow for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#33 Mar 9, 2013
Blood bank lab tech wrote:
<quoted text>
...
Yes there is. HIV can go undetected for a VERY long time. And infection rates remain highest by FAR among males who have engaged in sexual relations with other males. Even if they identify as "straight."
<quoted text>
...
You know, I get that they will hire any old bum off the street to do testing, but this myth of yours has been debunked a million times. Homosexual people also have the highest chance of knowing their diagnosis, so much higher than heterosexuals you are actually safer around them than straight people simply because of knowing. If you do not think this will skew the numbers of reported cases, then you are simply another street fool who thinks "living" is the same thing as "education," in short, a bigot. S quit lying about your job.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#34 Mar 9, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
You know, I get that they will hire any old bum off the street to do testing, but this myth of yours has been debunked a million times. Homosexual people also have the highest chance of knowing their diagnosis, so much higher than heterosexuals you are actually safer around them than straight people simply because of knowing. If you do not think this will skew the numbers of reported cases, then you are simply another street fool who thinks "living" is the same thing as "education," in short, a bigot. S quit lying about your job.
Here are the facts about testing and who is more likely to have HIV from a CDC web page:

"According to the report, more than 12,000 new cases occurred in young people aged 13 to 24 in 2010, and close to 60% of them did not know their HIV status.

"That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy," wrote CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in the report.

Among the hardest-hit every year are young gay and bisexual men and young African-American men, according to the report. And despite recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S.Preventive Services Task Force that everyone 15 and older receive HIV testing, many teens and young adults still do not get tested."

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/27/cdc-...

60% DO NOT KNOW THEIR STATUS. YOUNG GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN HARDEST HIT

You are a good one to be talking about somebody else not having an education.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#35 Mar 9, 2013
http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/hiv28...

"By risk group, nearly three-quarters (72%) of new HIV infections among youths occur through male-to-male sexual contact, while 20% are infected through heterosexual contact. Relatively few are infected through injection drug use.

Gay and bisexual men reported much higher levels of risky behavior than their heterosexual peers, according to the CDC's analysis of high school students in 12 states and nine large urban school districts, including Milwaukee Public Schools, who responded to Youth Risk Behavior Surveys.

Gay and bisexual males are much more likely to have multiple sex partners, to inject illegal drugs, to use alcohol or drugs before sex, and also are much less likely to use condoms, according to the survey results."

http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/hiv28...

This is a no-brainer. If gays want to donate blood, they should start their own blood banks, and the name of it should make it very clear that the blood is from gays.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#36 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Here are the facts about testing and who is more likely to have HIV from a CDC web page:
"According to the report, more than 12,000 new cases occurred in young people aged 13 to 24 in 2010, and close to 60% of them did not know their HIV status.
"That so many young people become infected with HIV each year is a preventable tragedy," wrote CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in the report.
Among the hardest-hit every year are young gay and bisexual men and young African-American men, according to the report. And despite recommendations from the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S.Preventive Services Task Force that everyone 15 and older receive HIV testing, many teens and young adults still do not get tested."
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/27/cdc-...
60% DO NOT KNOW THEIR STATUS. YOUNG GAY AND BISEXUAL MEN HARDEST HIT
You are a good one to be talking about somebody else not having an education.
Correlation to causation fallacy. You posted the facts about illness, not about testing. All your "facts" prove is that heterosexuals are less likely to know when they have a pathogen.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#37 Mar 9, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
Correlation to causation fallacy. You posted the facts about illness, not about testing. All your "facts" prove is that heterosexuals are less likely to know when they have a pathogen.
Try to get your mind around it: if 72% of the new cases are from male-to-male contact, then it would be reasonable to think that 72% of the 60% who don't know their status are people who had male-to-male contact. That most certainly doesn't compute to most of the people who don't know they have a pathogen being heterosexuals. You are truly reaching without a leg to stand on.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#38 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Try to get your mind around it: if 72% of the new cases are from male-to-male contact, then it would be reasonable to think that 72% of the 60% who don't know their status are people who had male-to-male contact. That most certainly doesn't compute to most of the people who don't know they have a pathogen being heterosexuals. You are truly reaching without a leg to stand on.
100% of people who consume H2O die, that's 100% fatality, so is drinking water bad for your health?

Learn how to use real science, it might just save your life.

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#39 Mar 9, 2013
Jake wrote:
<quoted text>
Did you delete my post? Why would you do that?
Your posts are not worth the trouble. I only report those that threaten death or are seriously creepy or horridly racist.

Yours are just stupid. Too much trouble to even bother with at all.

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#40 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Very well explained! Thanks for posting that. I think gays should start a gay blood bank, if they think gay blood is so safe. It would nicely solve the problem. Gays could donate, and the rest of us could worry less about bad stuff in the blood.
Then a man can have sex with some nice woman he just met, who just happens to be carrying syphilis. He wouldn't know. She seemed nice and not slutty. Then a week later, he goes to donate blood, not even recalling the encounter, yet his blood is boiling with virus. I guess since he was straight, he is OK in your book. Ready to hook up to his vein anytime soon?

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#41 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Try to get your mind around it: if 72% of the new cases are from male-to-male contact, then it would be reasonable to think that 72% of the 60% who don't know their status are people who had male-to-male contact. That most certainly doesn't compute to most of the people who don't know they have a pathogen being heterosexuals. You are truly reaching without a leg to stand on.
I know my status and it's negative. I've been in a monogamous relationship for almost 20 years and I am clean as a whistle. I refuse to give YOU my blood, so go elsewhere, please.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#42 Mar 9, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
100% of people who consume H2O die, that's 100% fatality, so is drinking water bad for your health?
Learn how to use real science, it might just save your life.
What are you babbling about? The CDC isn't "real science"? What people like you can't seem to understand is that heterosexuals by the millions are not out having indiscriminate sex. They do not see sex as a recreation but as a sacred expressions of the most committed love and relationship. They don't need to be tested to know their status. Either they have no sex because no one in their life qualifies for that kind of commitment or they have someone they can really trust in their committed relationship. I know that is hard for gays to understand, but that is reality.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#43 Mar 9, 2013
Curteese wrote:
<quoted text>Then a man can have sex with some nice woman he just met, who just happens to be carrying syphilis. He wouldn't know. She seemed nice and not slutty. Then a week later, he goes to donate blood, not even recalling the encounter, yet his blood is boiling with virus. I guess since he was straight, he is OK in your book. Ready to hook up to his vein anytime soon?
Any woman who is having sex with a guy she just met is not nice and is indeed slutty. The questions I had to answer, if answered honestly, would mean that man would be ineligible for donating as would she. People who behave like that are a rot in society that's bringing it all down.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#44 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
What are you babbling about? The CDC isn't "real science"? What people like you can't seem to understand is that heterosexuals by the millions are not out having indiscriminate sex. They do not see sex as a recreation but as a sacred expressions of the most committed love and relationship. They don't need to be tested to know their status. Either they have no sex because no one in their life qualifies for that kind of commitment or they have someone they can really trust in their committed relationship. I know that is hard for gays to understand, but that is reality.
No, statistics with only a binary response is not "real" science, and that's all you are quoting. You are positing a correlation to causation fallacy, and nothing more. Then you just provided evidence that you are a risk to the public health, end of story, you are a dangerous person to the species and should be isolated from it. The CDC will be approaching you for that isolation eventually.
Chance

Grove City, PA

#45 Mar 9, 2013
Curteese wrote:
<quoted text>I know my status and it's negative. I've been in a monogamous relationship for almost 20 years and I am clean as a whistle. I refuse to give YOU my blood, so go elsewhere, please.
Did I ask for your blood? Er, NO, I didn't. Good for you for being monogamous. You seem to be the exception to the rule. But there is no way I would want all gays donating blood just to pat you on the back for your monogamy. That would be insanity.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#46 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Any woman who is having sex with a guy she just met is not nice and is indeed slutty. The questions I had to answer, if answered honestly, would mean that man would be ineligible for donating as would she. People who behave like that are a rot in society that's bringing it all down.
You are sexist. Congrats, you are a complete bigot.

“Luke laughs at hypocrites!”

Since: Sep 10

Palm Springs, California

#47 Mar 9, 2013
Chance wrote:
<quoted text>
Did I ask for your blood? Er, NO, I didn't. Good for you for being monogamous. You seem to be the exception to the rule. But there is no way I would want all gays donating blood just to pat you on the back for your monogamy. That would be insanity.
How can you be sure of anyone? That's why they wear gloves in ambulances and ER's, and why they test blood for anything not nice. Just because someone is hetero, or gay, is no guarantee of anything.

“"The 14th works for me"”

Since: Aug 10

Souix Falls So. Dakota

#48 Mar 9, 2013
Curteese wrote:
<quoted text>How can you be sure of anyone? That's why they wear gloves in ambulances and ER's, and why they test blood for anything not nice. Just because someone is hetero, or gay, is no guarantee of anything.
I just don't get it Mr. Curt! If every man or lady is fully tested before giving blood what's the big deal? Or am I simply missing something here? I don't think so though! LOL

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