Should Gay Men Be Able To Give Blood?

Submitted by: BrokenJohn 8 years ago
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7347108.stm

Hospitals fear blood from gay men has an increased chance of containing HIV. [Video embedded in article.]
There are 93 comments:
Male 12,365
Hancock`s blood donor sketch...classic comedy.
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Male 678
A PINT???

that`s very nearly a whole arm

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Male 86
It has nothing to do with society it has to do with the medical FACT that homosexual men have a FAR greater chanch of contracting STD`s.
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Male 12,365
Who`s time-travelling here? Can I get a sightseeing tour? It would be fascinating to go back and find out things such as the reason Stonehenge was built.

But what does time travel have to do with this?

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Male 510
When did we go 20-30 years back in time?
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Male 4,547
No, even before. Read the list of people who couldn`t donate. It includes "If you are HIV positive".

Meaning yes, he could lie and donate, as could a gay person. Equal. Just as likely.

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Male 4,547
Actually "THAT GUY" can`t donate any more than men who whave sex with men can.

"Doesn`t everyone have the same chance of getting an STD?"

For starters, no.
For seconds, that`s a different question from "are men who have sex with men more likely to have HIV/AIDS".

The first matters when recieving blood, the second matters when giving blood.

The bottom line is, double the cases of HIV from transfusion are likely to occur if they change the ruling.

No matter how pissed off you are, that`s a cold, hard, demonstratable, fact. It doesn`t matter how annoyed you are at homophobia, or how hurt your feelings are.

Revoking the ruling would put more people at risk. It is putting people in danger. Kindof the opposite of the whole POINT of donating blood in the first place.

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Male 117
Well, not now because he`s in jail... but he could have yesterday.
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Male 117
^^^ Playing God, are we?
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Female 1,002
Doesn`t everyone have the same chance of getting an STD?
I wouldn`t give blood...unless you could say who you want to give it to. I don`t want to give my own blood to some chav who got themself into a fight, only to innocent people who got into accidents or babies, kids and old people.
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Male 117
But THIS GUY can donate...

"DECATUR, Ga. -- DeKalb County police say a man accused of sexually assaulting two women by using the popular Web site Craigslist to lure them to a vacant apartment is HIV-positive."

Read Article

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Male 117
Speaking as a gay man, I will concede that we are at a higher risk for contracting HIV for a variety of reasons. But so are heterosexual prostitutes. So, that`s why I only have sex with straight men. o:-)

Seriously, people. Get over it. If you have sex -- any kind of sex, know your status. Ignorance is NOT bliss. There is a cure for HIV/AIDS... It`s called f***ing safely and NOT SPREADING IT. There. Done. Next?

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Male 144
I think someone`s afraid of catching "the gay". That`s all this comes out to.
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Male 4,547
When children is transferable by blood donation, you`ll have a point.
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Male 547
people lie anyway... but if you dont want my blood then you won`t get it... and for those that say HIV is higher among gay men... well children are higher among straight people and overpopulation is what`s really killing us...
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Female 465
It`s sad, true, and it does have a negative impact on the equal rights of hetero- and homosexuals, but the figures speak for themselves. It`s been said before, if you really want to give to the community that badly, you`ll find another way. It`s not your right to give blood. It`s just a way of giving something back.

Furthermore, I`m trypanophobic (phobia of needles/injections etc). Ergo, I can`t give blood. I can give back to the community other ways too. Gays aren`t being segregated here, it`s all about public safety.

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Male 416
Well gays are second class citizens in America. Don`t get mad at me, it`s just the way the American society has made it. I don`t see why these people give gays somuch negative attention, do they think they can defeat logic ? I guess partly they can seeing howmany people in America believe the sun orbits arounds the earth...
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Male 128
Baalthazaq,

Stop taking IAB this seriously

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Male 12,365
BigBonny...how can you reliably tell who is promiscuous and who isn`t? You have to get it right every time. Can`t be done.

It doesn`t make any sense to assume that all gays have unprotected sex down dirty alleyways with groups of sailors every night. Which is probably why people aren`t assuming that.

It`s a numbers thing (see Baalthazaq`s post a couple up from yours for the numbers). It can`t be anything else, because blood donors can`t be thoroughly checked on an individual basis. If it was possible, and it isn`t, such invasive checks on a person`s life would put off potential donors, so it would be counter-productive to do them.

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Male 4,547
Promiscuous straights are still far lower risk than promiscuous gays. Sorry to burst the bubble.

Link to the National Blood Service
Link to the FAQ on excluding homosexuals. This includes an answer to Big Bonny`s two points. The risk factor of heterosexuals and the difficulty in getting full sexual histories of 7000 applicants daily.

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Male 2,216
No, gays dont have a higher risk, PROMISCUOUS gays do, but then again so do promiscuous straights, anyone who has sex with a lot of people is going to be a higher risk, it makes no sense to assume that all gays have unprotected sex down dirty alleyways with groups of sailors every night.

I only do anything with my partner, and we`re both clean, but someone one day may need MY blood, but Im not allowed to contribute!

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Male 12,365
Contra64: If there was an acute shortage of blood and every pint counted, the balance might be in favour of accepting the increased risk of undetectable HIV infection. There isn`t an acute shortage of blood in Scotland at the moment, though, so allowing gay men to give blood probably wouldn`t save any lives at all, let alone thousands. Why thousands, anyway? It wouldn`t add much to stocks, probably no more than 5%.

"At the very least just say `we won`t accept blood from sexually active gay men who have had sex in the past year" Then the test will be accurate and you get more blood...very simple solution."

Simple, but not reliable. Some people lie. I doubt if that would make any significant difference to blood stocks anyway - what proportion of gay men haven`t had sex in the last year?

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Male 4,547
Did anyone actually read the article?

60% of HIV cases are amongst the gay community in the UK, despite them being 6% of the population. (Quick math check means you`re roughly 20 to 25 times more likely to have HIV if you are homosexual).

The point is that AFTER the tests, there is a 2 in 10000 chance that the blood is infected but was missed in the first test.

Taking only heterosexual applicants adds a second layer of protection.

Summary: (Assuming 2.1 million donations per year from the National Blood website)
Chance if they take only heterosexuals. 0.000017% (3.5 cases per 10 years).
Chance if they take both. 0.00004%. (8.4 cases per 10 years)
Chance if they take only homosexuals. 0.0004% (84 cases per 10 years).

Pretty much case closed. It`s not a rights issue. It`s a health issue.

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Female 226
My question is, don`t they check the blood of ALL potential donors to make sure it`s safe? I sincerely hope they do.
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Male 244
When did we go back to the 1980s.

This debate can be ended with relatively simple tests performed on the blood.

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Male 32
That certainly would be a solution, if people donated then this would not be an issue. There is a need for blood and there is an untapped group just because of an outdated rule. I can understand limiting high risk groups, but the way most organizations collect, it`s if you`ve had sex with a male (and are male) or have had sex with a male who has had sex with a male, since 1980.

And to your other question, I think I would rather take infected blood than die. It would certainly be an awful circumstance, but you can live 30 or 40 years with HIV. It might not be comfortable but you cannot live that long without enough blood.

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Female 4,197
" you seem to be forgetting that most places do not have blood in reserve and it is constantly needed. What is worse? Making sure thousands live or 4 people get HIV."

I think education and getting out there and bringing the people in to donate blood is the solution. I don`t see any advertising to get people to donate. But, at least once a month I do see the Red Cross bus out and about collecting.

Oh yeah... would you like to be one of those people who just happened to get an infected sample? I don`t, I have too much to live for

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Male 32
Angilion you seem to be forgetting that most places do not have blood in reserve and it is constantly needed. What is worse? Making sure thousands live or 4 people get HIV. The balance must be struck between the number of donations you would receive by lifting the ban versus the number of people getting HIV if the ban is lifted.

The fact is that gays would not significantly raise the amount of HIV cases but would significantly impact blood shortages.

At the very least just say `we won`t accept blood from sexually active gay men who have had sex in the past year" Then the test will be accurate and you get more blood...very simple solution. Then as technology improves chip away at that barrier.

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Male 12,365
"The funny thing is that gays are being replaced as the highest risk group by african american women. Do you ban them from donating if they become the highest risk group?"

Yes. The same reasoning applies - course of least harm.

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Male 12,365
I`m not allowed to give blood. I gave buckets when I was much younger, but stopped after I started having sex with other men.

I`d rather give blood, but I think the blood transfusion service is right to not want mine. It`s not personal. It`s just about odds. There is a higher rate of HIV infection in certain groups. The blood transfusion service cannot know the details for any individual, so they can only go on the odds for specific groups of people.

So it comes down to the course of least harm.

On the one hand, people in those groups aren`t allowed to give blood.

On the other hand, there`s an increased risk of people being infected with HIV from a blood transfusion.

The course of least harm is quite clear.

Testing is not the solution, because current tests can miss recent HIV infections in blood that could still be enough to infect a patient given that blood.

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Female 4,197
Someone said you should tell them if you have HIV or ask before taking blood. People would lie about it (dunno why, people are nasty and would want to infect others... it`s happened) and some people probably do not know they have it.
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Male 32
The funny thing is that gays are being replaced as the highest risk group by african american women. Do you ban them from donating if they become the highest risk group?
I severely doubt that any private organization would try to limit african american women from donating...so why can it happen to gays?
Yay immunology grad school ftw (I work in a lab that specializes in the mechanism of HIV infection).
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Male 1,399
Since when do people have a RIGHT to put blood into supply?

This isn`t a right. High-risk behaviors, including intravenous drug use and unprotected anal sex are PERFECTLY good reasons to deny blood donors.

Discrimination? You people are mental.

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Female 35
Honestly! This issue should NOT be about the rights of the donors: it`s about the rights of the recipients of the donations. To put them at increased risk for contracting STDs would be trampling on THEIR rights.

If this means that some people get left out (because of medical conditions, family history, or because they`re gay), so be it: any would-be donor should agree that the lives of the recipients are more important than an individual`s so-called `right` to donate.

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Female 85
and that is why the test the blood before using it
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Female 192
WTF? This is bullpoo!
Now we can add another thing to the list of rights the LBGTQ community is being denied- which by the way, is growing far too rapidly due to lack of common sense.
HIV? Come on, you have to be kidding me...
/rant
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Female 481
wow.
pretty much if you know you have an std, don`t give blood. end of story.
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Male 2,372
Well, none of us here (I`m pretty sure) are doctors. If it`s a matter of public health then that`s really what matters. As Qtpil13 says, it`s not a `right` to donate blood.

Currently, intravenous drug users comprise a smaller percentage of the HIV/AIDS population then men who have sex with men. Should they be allowed to donate blood? If it`s not in the interest of public health, then who gives a sh*t if they`re offended or not if the answer is no.

I don`t think it`s a case of evil, homophobic doctors at country clubs using this decision as a form of gay bashing. I think its more just in the numbers.

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Male 184
Sexually active gays shouldn`t give blood.
If the tests can`t read HIV in it`s early stages, and gays have a higher rate of HIV, then what`s the debate?? Imagine if you got AIDS from blood you recieved from some gay guy that complained about having equal rights to give blood. Srsly. It`s not discrimination, it`s logic.
And don`t call me a homophobe. I`m not afraid of myself.
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Female 195
hmmm i thought they tested the blood anyways? and not just for HIV either. why ban gay people when they really should not be fussy as to who trys to give blood....if they fail the blood test fair enough...for EVERYBODY
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Female 876
And the only reason HIV is higher in the gay community, besides the risks involved in anal sex (which are higher in some less traditional sexual activities, as well) is because:
1) The gay community isn`t that big.
2) Gay people don`t have sex with straight people, so it doesn`t spread as quickly.

It`s similar to the higher rates of some diseases in Afrcian Americans, and it`s just a result of the low rate of interracial reproduction. Remember how the royal families all had horrible diseases? It`s `cause sex was kept in a secluded group.

Dee dee dee. >.<

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Female 876
Considering the horrible blood bank deficits right now, they should be taking all the blood they can get. They test the blood regardless of the donor, so they should accept blood from gays.

That said, if you know you have HIV (gay or not, because surprise, straight people get it too), don`t waste the time of the red cross and give your blood.

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Female 2,695
everyone should be tested for hiv before they give blood,and i`m sure the people who are dying because they need the blood don`t give a damn what sexual orientation the doner would have been.
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Female 112
this is definetly a tough issue....i do know of someone who got aids from transfusions though..
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Male 81
"""""I`d rather have smaller amounts of completely safe blood than larger amounts of possibly diseased blood. No offense to anyone.""""""

I`d rather have smaller amounts of Idiots in the world then a larger amount of them.....Lots of offense to you....Dick

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Female 338
And Qtpil, I think there`s a test now that`s fairly accurate and can show HIV results within a matter of 72 hours (or something like that).
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Female 338
I`m sure this point has been raised already...but why the hell should this be an issue if they test all blood anyway. If they`re not testing all blood they receive for HIV, someone needs to get smacked in the head and put in jail. It`s like saying, well the majority of crime is perpetrated by minorities, so minorities can`t have weapons and have to pay extra taxes. And women are bad at driving, so no more cars for women. The level of retardation some people have just makes me want to put an ice pick through my eye sockets.
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Female 164
The people claiming that they can "just test for it" need to reread the article; the problem is that testing for it isn`t effective if the virus is in the early stages. So you can`t test for it, because you`ll get a false negative, which could give countless people that get transfusions HIV from "safe" blood.

I see no problem with not allowing gay men to donate, at this time. They do have a higher rate of HIV, so if I were given a choice between receiving blood from a straight man or a gay one, I would be better off choosing the straight one, statistically. This is not a violation of anybody`s rights; You don`t have a right to donate blood. Nowhere are we guaranteed that we`ll be able to put our blood into other people`s bodies, or that we can force an organization to take unwanted donations.

And Primetimekin, hate to break it to you, but you`ve already got estrogen in your body naturally. Would you like us to kill you?

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Female 657
"2. If you are in a car accident, and to save your life they need to inject estrogen which will leave the system in 24 hours, what do we do?
Kill me. I`d rather die as a man than be a woman for 24 hours (im not saying being a woman is bad, but it is bad if your a man.)"

Dude... You know your body produces estrogen as it is even if you`re male it`s the exact same kind just in smaller amounts. Also, having a little more estrogen in your system doesn`t automatically make you a women.. it`s not like your penis falls off and you start bleeding through the legs...

Well, maybe for you, your masculinity is taken away from you by the amount of estrogen they give you to stabilize you which equates to the amount you may get from cow`s or mother`s milk but for normal people it doesn`t.

If you missed that, I`m calling your broken-logic containing ass a wussy.

btw gay men should be able to donate. n_n

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Male 380
U know what? i donate blood from time to time, and if people who have been in contact with monkey fluids cannot donate then neither should gays.
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Female 109
I think that that`s kind of stupid, not being able to give blood because you`re gay and they thing it has HIV. JUST TEST FOR IT. x_x
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Male 128
Vegan_Freak,
Just don`t tell Pabasa about it. He will probably try to hunt me down and whoop my ass (or worse?)
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Male 9,306
I`d give blood, but I`m concerned that the medicine in my system may negatively effect the recipient.
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Male 7,933
and yes, MLK probably would be ashamed of me
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Male 7,933
WDanC, I never liked MLK. I was a Malcom X-ian.
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Male 93
I don`t see what the problem is. Don`t gay people hate needles anyways?
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Female 15,763
I think that they should make sure the blood they get doesn`t have HIV. So why don`t they ask about heterosexuals and they`re previous sexual experiences? Unless I`m mistaken, the article said that heterosexuals aren`t questioned if they`d had unprotected sex. That seems pretty dangerous to me, and a little contradictory if they`r etaking out any male who had sex with another male, regardless of safety used.
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Male 410
Ever wonder how many men have lied about their sexual orientation/history and have donated anyway? Hmmm.
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Male 410
This is a shame, however, if the Red Cross or any other organization doesn`t want my blood, then so be it. I understand the stigma of gay men ... many are careless and promiscuous. However, so are straight men and women.

We SHOULD judge the individual, not the group, but this doesn`t happen in life, now does it?

Give me my birth-given rights as a human being in America, that`s all I ask for. Forget my blood, it`s not a big deal. Not really worth fighting for. We have bigger fights ahead of us.

Dr. King and his wife would be ashamed of you Primtimekin ... they both fought for equality amongst ALL humans in this world, including and specifically gays and women. As did gays and women fight for your equality.

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Male 252
This really shouldn`t matter. I don`t think homosexuals are more prone to stds, but I`m no scientist. But can`t they always test it anyway?
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Female 250
i have nothing against any sexual orentation.

However what they are saying is that gay men have a higher risk of contracting hiv and since the tests will not pick up the virus in the early stages, it is safer to just not take their blood. All they want to do is make sure they are protecting the patients who will receive this blood and prevent the spread of hiv through blood transfusions.
They did also mention that when new testing is discovered they may be able to accecpt blood donations from gay men.

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Male 3,369
Oh ffs. Anyone can get an STD. Everyone should be screened before giving blood.

People need to stop blaming gays!

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Male 2,076
Anyone who`s had cancer or lived overseas for over 5 years should be able to donate blood...but we can`t!!! WHY CANT WE JUST BE TESTED SO WE CAN GIVE OUR BLOOD! PLEASE LET US GIVE OUR BLOOD!
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Female 59
rasputinxxx:
Fanny bandits!! Ha. Im gonna tell my gay friends about that one...That`s funny.
Primetim:
thats the most idiotic rationale I have ever heard.
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Female 531
for starters, if its not a state agency, it has the right to deny donors. and yes they screen the blood, but it can take up to a year for the virus to appear, they can`t wait that long to use the blood. if they have solid medical proof that they have been finding that homosexual men have lately become more apt to donate tainted blood, then i understand it... they won`t let me donate plasma because my sister is immunodeficient...
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Female 128
they all ways test blood
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Male 7,933
Gay people do have an increased chanced due to the tissue in the ass (dont know another way to put it).

And I have already told people about some of these decisions.
1. If you need a blood transfusion and you cannot get it from someone who is straight, what should we do?
Kill me.
2. If you are in a car accident, and to save your life they need to inject estrogen which will leave the system in 24 hours, what do we do?
Kill me. I`d rather die as a man than be a woman for 24 hours (im not saying being a woman is bad, but it is bad if your a man.)

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Male 162
The main quibble I think here is that they`re letting straight people who have had unprotected sex give blood, but not allowing gay people who have had protected sex give blood, which is quite unfair.
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Female 100
it is true that there is a higher chance of contracting hiv "from the rear" as you say, however this implies that only gay men have intercourse this way, which isn`t really the case.

a simple blood test would suffice; however, fighting for your right to give blood shouldn`t be an issue either way. if they don`t want your blood, they don`t want it. boohoo. find some other way to give to the community, if that`s the right that you`re really fighting for. if not then maybe just shut up.

oh, and black people probably do get turned down more often since certain sickle cell traits disqualify the blood. that`s what happened to me.

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Male 1,674
Since i`m sure they test all blood for HIV (i hope so at lease). Is the reason they don`t want gays to give blood a monetary one? Since it`s not like they`re going to infect others with their blood, since it will be tested. But i`m sure the tests cost money.
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Female 128
Thats gay. lol gay as in stupid and gay blood . i think every adult should be able to give blood cause blood can save lives just like it saved mine
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Female 1,244
Oh yeah I think gay men should be able to unless they have HIV..Anyone with HIV shouldn`t donate
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Female 1,244
They will test the blood before giving it and if the person (who may be gay or straight) has HIV..they won`t use the blood and that person can`t donate anymore
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Female 781
Gay man`s blood = fine.
HIV infected blood = not fine.

Gay men may have a greater chance of having it, but that doesn`t mean MOST of them do. They always test the blood anyways; this just seems like discrimination.

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Male 128
I am totally against any prejudice/unequal treatment towards the fanny bandits. Even straight people can carry HIV. So screen everyone for STDs
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Female 4,197
I gawd I had a blood transfusion 3 months ago O.o

I do know it`s a fact that gay men are a high risk factor for carrying HIV/AIDS. It`s not like it used to be, but it still happens. I saw a doco bout it, too tired to go right into it now, but yeah overall I think it`s better to be safe then sorry.

No drug users and no gay men = less risk for EVERYBODY

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Female 59
What`s with all the posts about gay`s. Not that I have anything against them. I`m just noticing a trend here lately...
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Male 2,372
Actively gay men and intravenous drug users are in a higher risk group of contracting HIV.

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Male 272
HIV/AIDS has a higher chance to spread "from the rear" than "normally" (avoiding profanity, for any reason to anyone) with orally being the least possible. Wikipedia FTW.
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Male 648
when I give blood, the Red Cross gives me a survey, and it asks about recent and past sexual history in terms of protected/unprotected, but they don`t pry into preference/orientation.
they test the blood before giving it to someone anyway...why should it matter?
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Male 272
I`d rather have smaller amounts of completely safe blood than larger amounts of possibly diseased blood. No offense to anyone.
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Female 496
Uhm, no. Gay people don`t have a higher chance of getting it. Anyone that has unprotected sex (especially with more than one partner) is at an equal risk. Get your head out of your arse.
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Male 741
Uh huh...then should they do it to black people, too?

It`s alright to discriminate as long as the victim isn`t black nowadays?

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Female 4,225
gay rights cause just to add
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Female 4,225
So, doesn’t this make the rights cause won?
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Male 2,372
The main issue is providing uncontaminated blood, not the rights of this group or that group to donate the blood.
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Female 4,225
^Wait, I thougt they are equal. Please explain. Oh and also to Drew etc, this is what we call a smart debater, no offense to you though.
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Female 512
yea. they test the blood first to see if it has HIV
this one kid in my school wanted to give blood but they wouldnt let him cause he was gay
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Male 2,372
Gay men DO have an increased chance of containing the HIV virus, but can`t you just test to see if the blood is tainted or not, period?
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Male 474
Wow. In about a month IAB`s gonna get filled with "Are gays _____" and "Gays are ______".
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Female 496
... wtf

When did we all suddenly go back to the `50s?

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Female 4,225
GAY DEBATE!

STD’s do not originate from homo’s, so yes

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Male 464
Link: Should Gay Men Be Able To Give Blood? [Rate Link] - Hospitals fear blood from gay men has an increased chance of containing HIV. [Video embedded in article.]
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