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Gay Men banned from giving blood


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  #1  
May 24th, 2007, 03:45 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18827137/

Quote:
WASHINGTON - Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place — for now — a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”

“I am disappointed, I must confess,” said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America’s Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation’s blood supply.

Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.

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In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America’s Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.

In a document posted Wednesday, the FDA said it would change its policy if given data that show doing so wouldn’t pose a “significant and preventable” risk to blood recipients.

“It is a way of saying, ‘Whatever was presented to us was not sufficient to make us change our minds,”’ Bianco said.


The FDA said HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect the virus 100 percent of the time. The estimated HIV risk from a unit of blood is currently about one per 2 million in the United States, according to the agency.

Critics of the exclusionary policy said it bars potential healthy donors, despite the increasing need for donated blood, and discriminates against gays. The FDA recognized the policy defers many healthy donors but rejected the suggestion it’s discriminatory.

Anyone who’s used intravenous drugs or been paid for sex also is permanently barred from donating blood.[/b]
Your thoughts?
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  #2  
May 24th, 2007, 04:08 PM
*Aspen*
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Well. I'm not sure. I would say...how about if a man says he's had sexual contact...test him and then have him come back in 22 days and if he still doesn't show HIV let him test then? But how would you be sure he hasn't had sexual contact in those 22 days kwim? But women have HIV too.....so...what is the difference between men and women? I'm confused...why is it against gays? I'm not well educated on all this, I apologize.
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  #3  
May 24th, 2007, 04:28 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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I think it's an outdated ban. If a gay man is HIV negative he should be able to donate blood just the same as if he were a HIV negative straight man.
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  #4  
May 24th, 2007, 04:46 PM
glasscandie's Avatar What I make is what I am
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I'm not sure I understand the point of the ban. How is it any different than a hetero female wanting to donate blood? HIV doesn't only infect gay people. I thought it was just an untrue rumor that gay people were at higher risk for HIV...?
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  #5  
May 24th, 2007, 04:49 PM
EmilysMommy04's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
I think it's an outdated ban. If a gay man is HIV negative he should be able to donate blood just the same as if he were a HIV negative straight man.[/b]

ITA. I think its stupid. Not just gay men have HIV. Everyone should be testes. Not told your gay you can give blood to save lifes. That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. HIV is not racist nor sexist its in gay and straight people. Test there blood first .
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  #6  
May 24th, 2007, 04:57 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It amazes me that the Red Cross is protesting this ban and the government does not listen. Personally to me this means our government is being run by religion and not truth. I have no issues with my daughter getting blood from a gay man as opposed to anyone else. She has received blood three times this year.
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  #7  
May 24th, 2007, 05:44 PM
donomama
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I don't see the big deal. Gay men do have a higher risk of HIV than a straight person. They're not the only ones that aren't allowed to give blood. Here are the guidelines, you can't give 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

I don't think they're being discriminatory, I think they're just trying to keep the blood as safe as possible.

They also screen for malaria. My DH can't donate because he has recently traveled to countries that have malaria. Is that discrimination?
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  #8  
May 24th, 2007, 05:51 PM
chloe82
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Quote:
I don't see the big deal. Gay men do have a higher risk of HIV than a straight person. They're not the only ones that aren't allowed to give blood. Here are the guidelines, you can't give 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

I don't think they're being discriminatory, I think they're just trying to keep the blood as safe as possible.

They also screen for malaria. My DH can't donate because he has recently traveled to countries that have malaria. Is that discrimination?[/b]

Ditto to the above. They didn't come up with this rule because they hate gay people, it's silly to assume that this ban comes from a religious standpoint as someone else stated. It's simply a matter of health and safety, and they eliminated several groups of people who are at higher risk of having certain serious blood-borne diseases. I realize it's not PC to say this anymore, but the truth is that homosexuals ARE at higher risk of contracting HIV. I think people are way too easily offended these days.
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  #9  
May 24th, 2007, 06:43 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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If the top agencies that collect blood think it is ridiculous there is an issue

Quote:
And despite the pleading of the nation’s leading suppliers of blood, the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would not lift its 1983 ban prohibiting gay men from donating blood. Actually, forget ‘gay’ men. The ban applies to any man who has ever had sex with another man, even as far back as 1977.[/b]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18832082/

If it is not the collector's of blood with the issue and it is the government it only leads me to believe it is the religious front having the problem with it.
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  #10  
May 24th, 2007, 06:49 PM
LaceyMommy2B
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Quote:
Quote:
I don't see the big deal. Gay men do have a higher risk of HIV than a straight person. They're not the only ones that aren't allowed to give blood. Here are the guidelines, you can't give 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

I don't think they're being discriminatory, I think they're just trying to keep the blood as safe as possible.

They also screen for malaria. My DH can't donate because he has recently traveled to countries that have malaria. Is that discrimination?[/b]

Ditto to the above. They didn't come up with this rule because they hate gay people, it's silly to assume that this ban comes from a religious standpoint as someone else stated. It's simply a matter of health and safety, and they eliminated several groups of people who are at higher risk of having certain serious blood-borne diseases. I realize it's not PC to say this anymore, but the truth is that homosexuals ARE at higher risk of contracting HIV. I think people are way too easily offended these days.
[/b]
to all the above. it doesnt sound religion-focused to me, sounds fact-focused. you cant change the FACT that homosexual men ARE at a higher rate for HIV. i really really hope we dont start disregaurding facts because of PC'ness.
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  #11  
May 24th, 2007, 06:56 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Again if the lead blood collectors have no issues with it why should the government? Come on girls!!!!
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  #12  
May 24th, 2007, 06:59 PM
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Homosexuality is a high-risk behavior. It is a step to decrease the odds of gathering HIV infected blood.
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  #13  
May 24th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Marissa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I think it's an outdated ban. If a gay man is HIV negative he should be able to donate blood just the same as if he were a HIV negative straight man.[/b]

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  #14  
May 24th, 2007, 07:10 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
Homosexuality is a high-risk behavior. It is a step to decrease the odds of gathering HIV infected blood.[/b]

So is sexual promiscuity amongst hetero or homosexuals. Should we limit the number of partners that a person can have in order to donate blood?

I know 7 people who have AIDS or are HIV positive. Just so happens that none of them are gay!
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  #15  
May 24th, 2007, 07:13 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Here is an example (2004) of a government imposing rules on blood donation

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/...29981%2C00.html

Quote:
Bad blood about black donors
02/12/2004 09:12 - (SA)

SA kicking off Blood Donor Day

Blood donor questions

SA blood donor makes history

Self-donation of blood

Sonja Carstens, Beeld


Pretoria - If you are black or Coloured, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) does not want your blood.

This came to light in a ruling by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in a case between the SANBS and the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) over the unfair dismissal of a union member.

Poppie Bereng, a nurse, was dismissed because she opposed the SANBS's policy not to use the blood of black or Coloured donors, no matter how long they have been donating blood, because they are considered to be too much of a risk. Their blood is instead incinerated or destroyed in another manner.

The CCMA said Bereng, who is black, had conscientious objections to the policy as a Christian and she was upset because she had to lie to black donors who believed their blood was being used to save the lives of others.

Bereng worked on a contract basis for the SANBS before she was given a permanent appointment on July 5.

On July 16, she attended an urgent staff meeting where the shortage of blood was discussed.

At the meeting, one of her colleagues asked whether high-risk donors in category 3 and 4 could be recruited.

It was explained to Bereng that category 3 and 4 donors were black and Coloured donors respectively whose blood was not used.

Bereng testified that she was "shocked" and wanted clarity on the policy before signing her service contract. She was not prepared to remain in the service of an employer who supported a "discriminatory policy".

Services terminated

After another meeting, Bereng was given until August 2 to sign the contract. She received a letter the next day that her service had been terminated.

Commissioner Thamsanga Garry Mvumbi found that Bereng's demands were not unreasonable under the Constitution.

"I find the allegations that the policy - to discriminate against blacks because of their skin colour - was approved by the World Health Organisation frightening and baseless. I cannot believe that the minister of health would allow such a policy to exist in a democratic country," Mvumbi said.

He ordered the SANBS to re-employ Bereng and pay out R46 662 as six months of her salary.

Hospersa applied to the CCMA for an attachment order after the SANBS re-employed Bereng but did not pay out the money. This application has not been heard. The SANBS has taken the CCMA ruling under review.

On the SANBS's donor form, the donor has to indicate his or her ethnic group "for statistical purposes".[/b]
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  #16  
May 24th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Homosexuality is a high-risk behavior. It is a step to decrease the odds of gathering HIV infected blood.[/b]

So is sexual promiscuity amongst hetero or homosexuals. Should we limit the number of partners that a person can have in order to donate blood?

I know 7 people who have AIDS or are HIV positive. Just so happens that none of them are gay!
[/b]
Yes promiscuity is also high-risk. But there is no way of knowing this before you draw the blood. They are doing the best they can with the information they have.
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  #17  
May 24th, 2007, 07:17 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Take a look at this website.

http://www.avert.org/statindx.htm

According to statistics there are almost twice as many black people who have been diagnosed with AIDS or HIV. Should they also be banned?

There are also more diagnosed black people diagnosed than gay men.

I think the blood should be screened (which it is). If a person's blood comes back positive for disease then they should be banned. I don't believe they should have the right to donate taken away because of their sexuality.
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  #18  
May 24th, 2007, 07:25 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There are so many college upset about this ban that they will not hold blood drives.

http://www.11alive.com/news/news_art...?storyid=77936

Here is another article on how the Red Cross believe that gay men should be able to donate

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=100...a0&refer=us

Quote:
Red Cross Supports Easing Ban on Blood From Gay Men (Update1)

By Steven Bodzin

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- The American Red Cross, which for more than a decade has supported a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men, now believes those men should be able to donate if they go a year without gay sex.

The Red Cross's new position is prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to consider starting a risk assessment that would take three to six months, and may lead the agency to reverse its 16-year-old ban, which excludes any man who has had gay sex since 1977 from ever donating blood. The agency reaffirmed the ban in 2000, citing Red Cross support.

An official with the Red Cross, a Washington-based non- profit that collects about 45 percent of the blood donated in the U.S., said it changed its view last summer, though it made no public statement then. The first public signal by the group came March 8 at an FDA workshop on whether better HIV tests made the ban unnecessary.

The Red Cross calls the ban ``unfair and discriminatory'' in a statement on the American Association of Blood Banks Web site. ``It does not appear rational to treat gay sex differently from straight sex,'' the statement says, noting that in some cases, the ban led to cancellation of blood drives.

At the University of Maine in Orono, for instance, the student government changed vendors for its blood drive in 2005 in protest against the Red Cross, replacing it with a blood center that supported equal treatment for gay men, according to Derek Mitchell, who led the push for change as a member of student government.

Protests

The ban has attracted protest across the United States, with much of the anger directed at the Red Cross, which made $2.1 billion in sales of blood and blood products in 2004. A similar ban has been the subject of protests in the U.K.

``Having sex with a man does not put you at high risk,'' said John Givner, director of the HIV project at Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a New York-based gay rights group, in a telephone interview in July 2005. ``Having unprotected anal or vaginal sex does.''

He and other gay rights leaders have said they want blood banks to ask whether donors used condoms, instead of questioning whether they had same sex relations.

Gay students at 30 college campuses plan to go to clinics April 5 to show that there are healthy gay men who wish to donate blood, according to an organizing Web site, FightToGiveLife.org.

The ban was based on earlier FDA risk models that showed that one or more units of HIV-positive blood a year could slip through controls and infect recipients. Dr. Louis Katz, a member of the agency's Blood Products Advisory Committee said recent changes in blood handling and testing may have reduced risks.

Other Exclusions

Gays aren't the only group excluded from blood donation, according to the Red Cross Web site. FDA rules prohibit people from donating blood for a variety of reasons, such as recent tattoos and possible exposure to mad cow disease in the U.K. People possibly exposed to HIV through heterosexual sex are currently barred from donating for a year.

Katz said the FDA would likely bring together risk modelers to agree on a model and data, a process that could take three to six months. If the modeling shows little to no increased risk, the FDA could consider changing the rules, he said.

``With the way we test donors now and the control blood facilities have over their products, we won't be able to measure a decrease in safety from rolling back the deferral from lifetime to one year,'' Katz said.

An FDA spokesman said the timeline for studying risks to the blood supply may be slower. ``Prospective studies to measure the effects of any policy change, though possible, would be lengthy, difficult to perform, and might not be conclusive,'' said agency spokesman Stephen King in an e-mail response.

FDA Workshop

The Red Cross discussed its new policy in depth at last week's FDA meeting, titled ``Workshop on Behavior-Based Blood Donor Deferrals in the Era of Nucleic Acid Testing,'' said Ryland Dodge, the group's director of biomedical communications, in a telephone interview.

Dodge said the group actually adopted its new policy last summer, though it made no public announcement at the time. It was first reported today in the Washington Blade, a gay-oriented newspaper in Washington, D.C.

Dodge refused to comment on the issue further, referring a reporter to the statement on the Blood Banks' Web site.[/b]
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  #19  
May 24th, 2007, 07:49 PM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
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Quote:
Quote:
Homosexuality is a high-risk behavior. It is a step to decrease the odds of gathering HIV infected blood.[/b]
I know 7 people who have AIDS or are HIV positive. Just so happens that none of them are gay!
[/b]
I have known 6 HIV+ people. One hemphaeliac from a blood transfusion as a child, and 5 others likely from a partner .Only one gay - well actually he was bi so he could have got it from either sex.
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  #20  
May 24th, 2007, 08:14 PM
chlodoll
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I definitely agree its outdated and should be changed. Black young females are the fastest growing HIV infected group and if they denied all black women that would be unacceptable.
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