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A homosexual giving blood?!


Kurt

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Twice a year at my high school a blood drive is held. Well, I just turned 17 last week, so I am able to give blood now. The blood drive is tomorrow, and I am signed up to give blood at 11:30 am.

 

But... I am gay. Homosexuals are banned to give blood. It is a load of poop in my opinion!

 

Now, i have been waiting for 3 years to give blood, so I am really excited about it. However, if they ask me if I am gay, what do I do? Do I lie and say that no, I am not gay, or do I say yes, I am gay?

 

2 or 3 years a go, my friends brother went to give blood. They found out that he is gay, I am not sure if they asked, or how they found out. They told him that he could not give blood. So, I am not sure what I should do.

 

What would you do?

 

Thanks,

Kurt :D

Edited by Kurt
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I don't know about the USA, but the relevant Australian questions were along the lines of:

Have you engaged in male-male sexual activity?

 

Have any of your sexual partners engaged in male-male sexual activity?

 

The second one was there largely to pick up the female partners of men who engaged in homosexual activity.

 

Please note that this is from over 10 years ago because that was the last time I donated (I'm not eligble because I lived in the UK for more than six months in the 1980s and hence am a potential vCJD carrier). There has been a push to get the focus changed to risky sexual practises, rather than the generic "male-male" sexual activity, but I don't know if that has happened yet.

 

So, even though I'm homosexual (and known that since I was a teen), I donated blood for many years because I was not in the "at-risk" group. You'll be fine :)

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Here in Canada, as appears to be the case elsewhere, only homosexual sex prevents you from giving blood. In response to the Clintonian question of 'what is sex?' in Canada, only oral and anal penetration are sufficient cause for a lifetime ban. It's a foolish law in my opinion, as black women are actually (at least here) the demographic with the highest HIV prevalency rate.

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Here's a complete list of the questions on the US blood donor questionnaire (v1.2, February, 2007). There are lots of reasons you can be declined for giving blood. Reading these questions, now I understand why they are always asking for blood donors because they must turn away over half of those who answer this questionnaire truthfully. I found these quotes on the web: "Only about 5% of people who are potential blood donors actually bother to give blood. It

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Sounds like you can give blood and be proud of doing so. :2thumbs:

 

I donated for years until I became sexually active in a gay way again. I think it is terrible that given the need they don't address this issue more fairly. Oh well. Hope your generation is more successful than mine at changing things.

 

Pax Steve

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Hope your generation is more successful than mine at changing things.

Actually, Steve, the Cathedral City City Council (town next to Palm Springs) last week voted 4 - 0 to urge the rules concerning homosexuals donating blood be updated and allow donations. I will be the first to admit that the local gay/lesbian population (we're big, politically active and we vote!) has clout and don't suggest that this is national trend. But it is a start. Here's the link for anyone interested:

 

http://www.thebody.com/content/news/art40613.html.

 

BTW, thebody site seems to be an excellent resource for questions concerning HIV/AIDS.

 

Jack B)

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Well, today I donated a double unit of red cells using an apheresis machine. Everything went well. I also plan on doing every 16 weeks now, at least until I start being sexually active (but that could be a while.

 

Kurt :D

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With that list of questions, it is a wonder that there is anyone left to give blood.

 

I was once in Egypt for a few days. I, like most people over 50, take a low dose of aspirin every day.

 

I don't need even to look at any questions relating to sexuality in any form.

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Guest evilangel

I really don't think it should matter. It's not like they don't test the blood for these kinds of things. Both sexes have the same chance of getting HIV. It is all merely a question of who is more promiscuous.

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Well, today I donated a double unit of red cells using an apheresis machine. Everything went well. I also plan on doing every 16 weeks now, at least until I start being sexually active (but that could be a while.

Argh! I'm not a pirate but I'm proud of you. Some blood banks are running low on reserves. We even have a problem with the San Bernardino blood bank coming over to our town (in Riverside Country) to pouch donors. Yikes.

 

I won't argue the merits of donating to a system that discriminates (with some justification)...the blood is needed. You, Kurt, are doing the right thing. :2thumbs:

 

Jack B)

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Argh! I'm not a pirate but I'm proud of you. Some blood banks are running low on reserves. We even have a problem with the San Bernardino blood bank coming over to our town (in Riverside Country) to pouch donors. Yikes.

 

I won't argue the merits of donating to a system that discriminates (with some justification)...the blood is needed. You, Kurt, are doing the right thing. :2thumbs:

 

Jack B)

I thought the san berdoo and riv couinties had the same blood bank... Isnt it The Blood bank of San Bernardino and Riverside counties?? http://www.bbsbrc.org/

 

Yup Jack, Im a local.. are you afraid yet? :P

 

Steve

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Hey man you did a good thing donating blood, Im glad you feel good about yourself I recently did the same thing at some High School in goodyear last week and I had the same aprehension you did but all went well and I did the double blood thingy to. Im not sure if I will do it again but at least now I can say I did.

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I really don't think it should matter. It's not like they don't test the blood for these kinds of things. Both sexes have the same chance of getting HIV. It is all merely a question of who is more promiscuous.

My understanding is that they are unable to come up with a reliable test for HIV for the period of time that blood products can be kept for. HIV tests require a followup a few months later, as the initial test may show a false negative if the infection was only a few days prior. Blood products generally can't be kept for that long (I think whole blood has a shelf-life of less than a month).

 

As there are well documented cases of people acquiring HIV from blood transfusions in the 80s, I can understand why they are cautious.

 

Why should someone donate blood to an organization that doesn't value you and thinks an entire group of people has a terminal disease? What about heterosexual
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From http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/At-a-Glance.pdf:

 

HIVInfectionRates.gif

 

You don't see a question on the US blood donor questionnaire that asks "Are you African American?" And there shouldn't be. Just like there shouldn't be the similar question 34 "Male donors: had sexual contact with another male, even once?"

 

From http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=210445:

There are anywhere between 535,695 and 5.03 million gay men in the USA, as best as anyone can work out. Between 8-10% of gay males are currently HIV positive.

 

Unfortunately, homophobia and hypocrisy go hand-in-hand.

 

Colin :boy:

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Australia doesn't have a question like the number 34 you mentioned. They limit it to a period of time. From woody's comment above, it appears to be male-male sexual activity in the last 12 months.

 

What is challenging is to come up with a set of questions that, if answered honestly, give a fair chance of identifying an at risk person without excluding too many people.

 

I would suggest something like:

 

1. Have you had unprotected sex with more than one person in the last 12 months?

 

2. Have any of your sexual partners with whom you have had unprotected sex in the last 12 months had unprotected sex with another person in the 12 months prior to your last sexual encounter?

 

The idea is to target anyone with more than one sexual partner without using protection. That seems to be largest at risk group. The question is is that good enough?

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Interesting.... Before I maade this post, I sent an email to the Red Cross, it said this:

I have a quick question. If a person is a virgin homosexual, are they still allowed to give blood?

 

I got a reply today saying this:

Hi Kurt,

 

Thank you for inquiring about donating blood. Unfortunately the answer to your question is no a person can not donate blood.

 

So, I wonder if they new for sure if a person is gay if they would deny them the chance to give blood, even if the person is a virgin.

Edited by Kurt
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In the Republic of Ireland a man who has had sex with another man (if he is truthful about that) is banned from donating blood . This is plainly discriminatory, and the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) is currently involved in a campaign to end this discrimination.

 

Marty

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