Should gay men be allowed to donate blood?

Sarah - posted on 04/12/2011 ( 101 moms have responded )

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http://www.periscopepost.com/2011/04/sho...

The coalition government is expected to lift the ban on homosexual men donating blood, on the grounds that that the rule could be discriminatory and might breach equality legislation. The news has been welcoming by some and dubbed blood discrimination by others.
Opponents take issue with the likely policy change qualification that gay men will only be permitted to donate if they have not had sexual intercourse for a decade. The 10-year delay is partly designed to ensure that people who are not aware they have contracted HIV do not pass it on accidentally.
Any donation rule change will follow the publication of a policy review by Sabto, the advisory committee on the safety of blood, tissues and organs. Sabto results are due to be announced in coming weeks.

Thoughts?

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Lady Heather - posted on 04/12/2011

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More food for thought: where I live HIV is absolutely exploding among the First Nations population. Imagine the ruckus there would be if we decided that a particular race wasn't allowed to donate because they have a higher rate of HIV. It would never happen. But gay guys - sure.

Toni - posted on 04/12/2011

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Having had 8 blood transfusions to date I'm thankful for every donor out there.
I know we all want safe blood. In France it was terrrible KNOWN error when they allowed HIV infected blood to be infused to so many people.
Whether gay or hetero ..... all blood needs to be screened and not just because of AIDS. Hepatitus is a worrying problem too.
I think that if the blood can be screened safely then who cares where it comes from. But if the rule-out is dependent upon sexual status then really anyone who has had sex before a donation should be vetoed.
Hope all that just made sense lol

JuLeah - posted on 04/12/2011

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Heterosexual women are just as likely to have HIV. Should they doo not be allowed to donate? How stupid is this? All blood is tested before it is used becuase anyone sitting in the chair - 90 yr old man, 90 yr old woman, a person of any color, a rich person a poor person, well educated, and a high school drop out ... HIV does not discriminate

[deleted account]

I can't see why gay men shouldn't be allowed to donate blood, yes they have a slightly higher risk factor for HIV but heterosexual people contract HIV as well. The national blood webpage suggests that they are discriminating against the sexual act rather than the sexuality so to me that suggests that women who have anal sex should also be banned from donating blood - but they are not, so it does raise the question as to why are active homosexual men being disqualified from giving blood - it does state that gay men who have not had sex with another man can give blood on the web page.

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101 Comments

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Try - posted on 10/09/2012

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Yup. They ask if you've ever had any sexual contact with another man, or (for women) with a man that has. If yes, they tell they can't accept your blood.

Try - posted on 10/09/2012

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You know they test a sample out of each and every donation given - you couldn't slip HIV blood in there if you tried.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/16/2012

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LMCBW, I'm not sure what part of my oh so sarcastic remark said anything about the 2 people whom I know that have HIV were donating blood. I was merely pointing out that they are not gay men and that, for some reason, when people think of HIV they think of gay men.



Did you ask yourself how I knew they have HIV? Because they both are open about it. They want everyone in their work place, as well as social lives to know that they are HIV positive. They are not irresponsible at all.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/16/2012

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My husband is a fire fighter and we both give blood whenever the Red Cross is there. They have never asked me or anyone that I know of our sexual orientation....nor have they asked me about tattoos. They just ask me if I am diabetic and if I am or might be pregnant.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/16/2012

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Following volunteer whole blood donation, red blood cells (liquid) may be kept at 1-6 degrees C for up to 42 days, depending on the additive solution used. Rare units of red cells may be frozen for up to 10 years. Platelets have a shelf-life of 5 days, and must be stored at room temperature (20-24 degrees C) on a platelet rotator. Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) must be separated and frozen within 8 hours following collection, and may be stored for 1 year at -18 degrees C.



Just an FYI.. ;) I would like to know what Fresh Frozen is suppose to mean though, if they are freezing it within 8 hours. Wouldn't that be like, fresh that was frozen? Then they freeze it again? Huh?

Mother - posted on 03/16/2012

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I would like to add, maybe this discriminating against certain people is why they are always crying for more blood. People have just stopped donating. I have a friend who said we should donate our own blood for ourselves, in case of an emergency. I thought that was genius but wasn't sure how long blood can be stored. I suppose we could freeze it....then how long would it be good?? A year?? That's how long they say meat should be frozen...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/16/2012

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Don't know what to tell you. I have given blood many times, and it was all on the release form I had to fill out.

Mother - posted on 03/16/2012

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I give blood. I've never been asked what my sexual orientation is or if I've had anal sex. Ever.



ETA....although....the screening test did ask if I was married. I guess they are assuming I'm faithful and not having a lesbian affair.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/16/2012

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Sorry, I know this was a sarcastic statement but "I know 2 people that are very open about having HIV and guess what....neither are gay and neither are men. I guess they can donate. " Is totally ridiculous, and would be completely irresponsible of the two people you know to try to hide that they have it in order to give blood.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/16/2012

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Also they ask if you have had a tattoo in a certain amount of time and if you use drugs. They try to do a thorough screening before even taking your blood, and then they check to see if you are anemic. Once they take your blood, they do a thorough blood screening, and even have a spot on the form if you want to consent to being told if you have diseases.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/16/2012

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Jackie, if you have ever given blood before, they ask certain questions like what your sexual orientation is, and if you have had anal sex in such and such a time.

**Jackie** - posted on 03/16/2012

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Wait.....I have a question....when a man walks up to donate blood what does the nurse say? "Excuse me sir, do you enjoy the company of men rather than women? Because if so, you can't donate." This is ridiculous. Last I checked, gay men didn't walk around with signs on their forehead.



I feel like high-fiving the next gay man I meet....good for him for not freaking out at every stupid law! Imagine falling in love with your soul mate and someone telling you "Oh well sorry but you can't be married because you both have a penis" UGH. Ok, I'll stop

**Jackie** - posted on 03/16/2012

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I completely agree with Mother. That is bullshit and I didn't even know there was a ban! I know 2 people that are very open about having HIV and guess what....neither are gay and neither are men. I guess they can donate.



Blood testing has come a looong way. My mother's dear friend was infected with Hepatitis through a blood transfusion when she had her daughter in the late 80's. Blood just couldn't be tested that well back then...not any more.

Mother - posted on 03/16/2012

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WHA-?? I didn't know a ban was in place and I think it is completely wrong. Lots of people have HIV and AIDS. This is NOT a gay man disease. Grrrrrrr......stuff like this pisses me off. Blood donated should be tested regardless......so even if someone was infected and unaware, it should be caught.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/16/2012

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Yeah, you don't get paid in Canada for donating blood.



I dunno. The way I see it is a straight person could be a huge sex addict and giving it up every time they turn around. They could be just as infested or not, as the next gay guy.



I am not sure I am sold that they should NOT be allowed.



I for one cannot give blood. I would pass out. I also have something with very low platelets. They have been good for years now but could degrade at anytime. It's called ITP. I had it as a teenager. So far so good but it is a big concern when I had my c-sections.

LovingMom - posted on 03/16/2012

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I have not read any of the posts, so pardon if my post is maybe in the wrong place.

I have just returned from donating blood for the umpteenth time and realised that I need to spread the word online as well - DONATE BLOOD!

It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, what your sexual preferences are, what your background / current situation is, as long as your blood is SAFE, DONATE!!!

Not only can it maybe save a life, it is also beneficial to yourself as you'll start reproducing new bloodcells, so it's good for you too!

To all out there, please take care...

Corrie - posted on 04/21/2011

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I personally think the simplest and RIGHT answer to this question is YES. Yes they should. But then i think everyone who CAN donate blood, should HAVE to donate blood. My opinion.

Lucy - posted on 04/21/2011

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I'm so glad the government are looking at adjusting the pointless ban on gay men donating, but asking that they be abstinent for 10 years? Ridiculous!



All blood drawn is tested for HIV, hepatitis etc, before it is used, so the ban on gay men donors is out dated and totally unnecessary. Especially considering that these days gay men in the UK are only slightly more likely to have or contract HIV than any other sexually active individual, regardless of sexuality.



We are living in the past (and putting our children at risk) if we subscribe to the antiquated notion that only promiscuous gay men are affected by HIV.

Mary Renee - posted on 04/20/2011

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Wow, I didn't even know that there was any sort of sexuality qualification on donating blood... that's so ridiculous and horrible!

Ten years of abstinence! Give me a break! I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

Anyway, African American Women are now the group with the fastest growing incidence of AIDS. Would you tell an African American Woman that she can't give blood unless she's been abstinent for ten years? I don't THINK so. That just shows that this is totally based on discrimination and cruel and harmful stereotypes!

I think if you're dying and desperately in need of a blood transfusion and you refuse it because it comes from a gay man then you deserve to die.

I also seriously hope they have a better means of checking blood for AIDS than just "asking" people if they have it or have been sexually active in the last ten years!

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2011

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Right . . . because you can't get HIV from dirty tattoo parties, drug use and straight sex....*note sarcasm please =)*

Krista - posted on 04/19/2011

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Those rules are utter shite. For starters, they should be screening ALL blood for HIV anyway, and secondly, do they honestly think that heteros don't engage in risky sexual behaviour? Oy...

[deleted account]

Weird. I guess that makes a little sense. But I still don't get why it's such a big deal. It's not like gays are the only people who get HIV. An I agree with Katie, there are other worrying factors to donating blood. It's just all a little odd to me D:

[deleted account]

Vanessa if a gay man hasn't had sex with a man he is eligible to donate blood as long as he meets the other criteria. It is only if he has had sexual contact with a man (including oral) that he currently cannot donate.

Katie - posted on 04/17/2011

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I personally would worry a lot more about all the drug addicts I see at the red cross, donating blood for 20 bucks.

Katie - posted on 04/17/2011

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I personally would worry a lot more about all the drug addicts I see at the red cross, donating blood for 20 bucks.

Katie - posted on 04/17/2011

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Dont you think all blood should be tested for HIV?! straight people get it too!

Katie - posted on 04/17/2011

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Dont you think all blood should be tested for HIV?! straight people get it too!

[deleted account]

So I'm still a little confused. There is no difference in what is -in- your blood whether you are gay or straight...and I am guess the only difference would be the sex? But...I'm so sure that some women have had buttsecks before.. o - o (apologies if I'm not allowed to say that word > - >) So what if you have sex with a gay man? Like...what if he only came out of the closet when he was say 30, then does that mean he can't donate anymore? Even if he hasn't been with a man, would it be wrong because he had buttsecks with a woman and chose he was actually gay? :o

Jane - posted on 04/14/2011

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That's interesting...I've donated blood and have done platelet donations as well and have NEVER been asked if I'm gay, who I've had sex with, etc.

Jenni - posted on 04/14/2011

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I understand homosexual males do exhibit a higher rate of HIV than other groups. But I think it's discrimination to ban an entire group of people. When they could and are looking into deferral based on 'behaviour' rather than sexual orientation.
That's what is currently being talked about in Canada and the US. (not sure about other countries). Even leading experts in the Canadian HIV/AIDS Society are arguing that it's discrimination. It appears on this site that the FDA also explored defferal based on 'behaviour' through a workshop but doesn't state any conclusions. Check the last 4 paragraphs.

Rosie - posted on 04/14/2011

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yeah, pretty much jennifer, lol! they even ask if you've slept with somebody who has had sex with a man who has had sex with a man since 1977.

Rosie - posted on 04/14/2011

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that link really goes into depth about my feelings on the whole question of why is it still done. it just has a lot clearer statistics than what i could find.

Jenni - posted on 04/14/2011

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Have you sat next to a homosexual on a bus?
Have you drank from the same glass as a homosexual?
Have you been in a bar frequented by homosexuals?
Have you sat bare bottom on a toilet seat after it was used by a homosexual?

Rosie - posted on 04/14/2011

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its asked of me everytime i donate plasma, that's how i know. you can't even donate if you have sex with a man who has had sex with a man since 1977. it's really in depth the amount of questions regarding gay sex.

Jane - posted on 04/14/2011

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@Kati - Let me try this one more time...for some reason, it's not letting me post.

Anyway, no, it's not the same in the US. I looked on the American Red Cross website just to be sure and nowhere does it say that a homosexual male cannot donate blood. My work has blood drives every month and I have many friends/coworkers that are openly gay and donate each and every time they can. I'm not sure where you're seeing that this is the same policy in the USA. If you can show me where it says that, I will stand corrected.

Jamie - posted on 04/14/2011

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I never knew that gay men could not donate blood. That is ridiculous. Who cares. They test all the blood before they use it for everything. Plus...NEWSFLASH...HIV is not the "gay disease."

[deleted account]

It is just as possible for women to have HIV/AIDS as it is for men, regardless of sexuality. Since that is the case, why should anyone be allowed to donate blood at all? Ludicrous? Exactly. Screen the blood for nasties, who cares who it comes from, it still saves lives.

[deleted account]

Jane virgins wouldn't guarantee that the donors didn't have HIV either - HIV isn't only a sexual disease, although it is the most common way to catch it.

Sal - posted on 04/14/2011

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jenniffer you are right, except, not only men are promiscious, i know some terrible promiscious girls too, gender isn;t responsible for the slut gene

Jane - posted on 04/13/2011

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HIV doesn't care if you're gay. Every donor's blood is checked for a variety of illnesses, including HIV and hepatitis, because the viruses don't care about your gender or sexual orientation. In fact, one of the ways unsuspecting folks find out they have HIV is as the result of testing for blood donation.

Maybe we should only allow people who are guaranteed to be virgins to donate blood. But then that would restrict the donation pool to ridiculous lengths.

Jennifer - posted on 04/13/2011

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anyone should be allowed to donate blood. in a world where people die because of a lack of donated blood, are we really going to tell someone their blood isn't okay because they're gay? seriously? they test all blood before administering it to patients. i find it hilarious that they might require gay men to be abstinent for 10 years prior to donation. would they require the same from a straight man? promiscuity can't be all that different...they're still men!! :)

Jane - posted on 04/13/2011

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What the he'll country is this happening in? I can't believe that there has actually been a ban like this is a civilized country. All donated blood is screened for HIV here in the US and it's not just gay men that contract the virus. I am in shock that this has been going on at all. My God....how ignorant.

Sal - posted on 04/13/2011

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it is funny that the uk didn;t allow gay men,ate here my husband can;t donate because he lived in the uk during the mad cow days....but could he donate in the uk??

Sal - posted on 04/13/2011

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it does seem a little old fashoined, if the blood is screened i can;'t see a problem, and it should be screened for everyone..from my understanding you don't get aids from anal sex alone, any sexual contact, even oral can transmit the disese (anal increases the risk, but isn;t the sole sexual act that will pass it on) if one partner has it, the fact is you might oof been married for 10 years a man , who 5 years before that slept with a woman who's husband used a hooker once, and it goes on and on, and you not no so even if you have only slept with one person you need could be passing it on so unless they are going to make the 10 yr rule for everone who has ever had sex once it it really just discrimatory i feel..

Jenn - posted on 04/13/2011

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That is so stupid!! All blood is screened for HIV and suh so why should it matter who it comes from. People are dying and in need of blood, our blood supply is always low, so how can we afford to be so picky?? And also, how can they enforce the ten year celibacy rule? How do you prove such a thing?

Veronique - posted on 04/13/2011

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I've never given blood but i expect that they test the blood before giving it to someone? I mean whether you are gay,straight,white,black,asian whoever you are or whatever your sexual preference is the blood should be tested first. I think it is offensive to the gays that they can't donate blood. I mean if i were gay i would soooooo be offended by this banned. It's like in school "oh you can't play with us because we don't like you " really this thinking is STUPID!

Stifler's - posted on 04/13/2011

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Is there seriously a ban on gay people donating blood? What about women who have anal sex with straight men isn't that essentially the same thing? Are they banned too? Weird. i haven't been allowed to donate blood for ages because of needlestick injuries and pregnancy. We don't get paid here and I think most of the blood gets separated into platelets, erythrocytes and plasma.

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