Monday, September 12, 2011

Gay Blood...

The lifetime ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men will be lifted in England, Scotland and Wales.

Ministers have agreed to let men who have not had sex with another man in the past 12 months to donate from November.

The restrictions were put in place in the 1980s as a response to the AIDS epidemic and the lack of adequate HIV tests. However, the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued the ban could no longer be justified.

Ministers in the three countries accepted the argument and said they would be relaxing the rules. Northern Ireland is expected to make a decision soon.

The National Blood Service screens all donations for HIV and other infections. However, there is a "window period" after infection during which it is impossible to detect the virus. Read more...

No sex for a year so that you can have a blood donation?! I mean, this is just silly in my opinion! And let's not forget AIDS is not exculsive to gay men, it happens in our stright counter-parts too. So, why not ban them to have sex for a year before they donate their blood?!

4 comments:

Ace said...

The 1 year sex ban just for gay men shows that there really isn't full equality for everyone in this country. Straight people have exactly the same chance of catching AIDS and have the same "Window Period" they mention, so should therefore have to follow the same precautions - It's just a mild form of homophobia, assuming that we're all more likely to be infected.

I suppose it's still a step in the right direction, at least we can actually give blood now, I just wonder whether it will take another 30 years before Gay and Straight people follow the same rules.

b3nc0 said...

In Belgium, we have the same discrimination from the Red Cross (responsible of blood donation). I stopped giving blood due to medical issue a few years ago & never get to it again for I then had an active homosexual sex life... I tried several times to have the doc at the center explain their reasons; she finally told me about statistics with a lot of graphics & figures about percentage of HIV+ in our community... I asked her if they inteded to ban people from Africa or men from 30 to 34 & women from 25 to 29; she retorted that being snarky & aggressive wouldn't lead me anywhere!
There indeed is a long way to go...

Anonymous said...

Thus revised ban is progress, which history teaches us is made incrememtally on this issue. While it may be necessary for forward movement, it is still wrong because it is not based on solid science and predominently on medical homophobic discrimination.

What might be resonable is asking all donors about HIV connections and unprotected sex outside of a monogomous sexual relationship. Hetero HIV carriers and their partners need the same medical scrutiny. As for the window of non-detection, everyone that matches that situation, homo or hetero, needs to follow the safest policy for HIV protection of the blood. You European and GB folks are ahead of the curve. It will be a long time before the USA is ready to mske this advance. In good conscience and with safe sex practices I have not allowed this to stop me and have given over 5 gallons of clean lifesaving blood in the past 45 years. Life must go on.

Joe said...

Sorry, but it would be a very cold day on South Beach before I would want to take any blood from anyone who had been engaging in risky sexual activity - EVER! Political correctness can kill.

Gay or straight isn't the principal issue, although it's evidently not that easy to acquire HIV from a woman. It's about promiscuity.

In addition to everything else, you have the problem that a great many people fail to tell the truth about things like this.