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02-11-11 05:42 PM
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Ban on donating blood

 

02-11-11 05:42 PM
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I thought this could be a double, but it doesn't exist in this forum or Health, so I decided to make it.

I was just watching the news and saw a brief report about an older man donating a lot of blood. This reminded me of the blood donation ban that I wrote an essay on a few months ago for my Sociology class.

Starting back in 1983, gay men were banned from donating blood. This is a lifetime ban. The policy was updated in 1992 and has been unchanged since. Obviously, I disagree with it. You can share your opinions on the ban if you want.

I did some searching online and found quite a few interesting bits of info.


According to the FDA, this policy is not limited to America. It also exists in Europe and some other countries. That info along with all of the FDA's info about the ban can be found on their site at this URL:

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm


According to the following MSNBC article, prostitutes and drug users are also permanently banned from donating blood. There's clearly a connection between these bans and the ban on gays donating blood .

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18827137/ns/health-aids/


For those of you non-Americans, I was looking around to see if there were legal repercussions if a gay man lied about his sexuality and donated blood. I couldn't find anything official, but I found a mildy hostile blog from a Canadian about a legal case regarding a Canadian man who had lied and donated blood. His level of ignorance amuses me
.

http://generalbrock.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/gay-men-suing-to-donate-blood-that-could-be-tainted/


I also saw this YouTube video a while ago (based on the upload date, it was late september 2010). This is just a second opinion from a YouTube user who posts regular video blogs (they call it vlogging). He did more research than I did.




Feel free to share whatever you think regardless of whether you read/watched all that stuff I posted.

I thought this could be a double, but it doesn't exist in this forum or Health, so I decided to make it.

I was just watching the news and saw a brief report about an older man donating a lot of blood. This reminded me of the blood donation ban that I wrote an essay on a few months ago for my Sociology class.

Starting back in 1983, gay men were banned from donating blood. This is a lifetime ban. The policy was updated in 1992 and has been unchanged since. Obviously, I disagree with it. You can share your opinions on the ban if you want.

I did some searching online and found quite a few interesting bits of info.


According to the FDA, this policy is not limited to America. It also exists in Europe and some other countries. That info along with all of the FDA's info about the ban can be found on their site at this URL:

http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm


According to the following MSNBC article, prostitutes and drug users are also permanently banned from donating blood. There's clearly a connection between these bans and the ban on gays donating blood .

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18827137/ns/health-aids/


For those of you non-Americans, I was looking around to see if there were legal repercussions if a gay man lied about his sexuality and donated blood. I couldn't find anything official, but I found a mildy hostile blog from a Canadian about a legal case regarding a Canadian man who had lied and donated blood. His level of ignorance amuses me
.

http://generalbrock.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/gay-men-suing-to-donate-blood-that-could-be-tainted/


I also saw this YouTube video a while ago (based on the upload date, it was late september 2010). This is just a second opinion from a YouTube user who posts regular video blogs (they call it vlogging). He did more research than I did.




Feel free to share whatever you think regardless of whether you read/watched all that stuff I posted.

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(edited by BNuge on 02-11-11 05:45 PM)    

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02-11-11 05:52 PM
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There is probably a good reason for it. Could be cause its a known fact that gay men have aids and or HIV. This article says 1/5 gay people got HIV's or aids and half don't even know about it:

http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20100923/1-in-5-gay-bi-men-have-hiv-nearly-half-dont-know
There is probably a good reason for it. Could be cause its a known fact that gay men have aids and or HIV. This article says 1/5 gay people got HIV's or aids and half don't even know about it:

http://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/news/20100923/1-in-5-gay-bi-men-have-hiv-nearly-half-dont-know
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02-11-11 07:52 PM
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JigSaw :
The general counter to your argument is that plenty of straight people who don't have lifetime bans can also unknowingly have HIV. Coincidentally, your statistics apply to all people in America.

"CDC estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States. One in five (21%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection."


I decided to do a bit more research before arguing. I went to FDA.gov. One of their pages suggested checking the HIV/AIDS Statistics and Surveillance page on CDC.gov. Here's some info I found:

This part supports your argument. MSM basically means gay men:
"MSM account for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the U.S. each year, as well as nearly half (48%) of people living with HIV.
While CDC estimates that MSM account for just 4% of the US male population aged 13 and older, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the US is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women."


This part is about African Americans and HIV:
"While blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for almost half (46%) of people living with HIV in the US, as well as nearly half (45%) of new infections each year. HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s.
At some point in their life, approximately one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will one in 30 black women.
The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about six times as high as that of white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men, and more than twice that of black women.
The HIV incidence rate for black women is nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic/Latino women."
-http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm

So... 4% of our population are gay men. 53% of people who get HIV in a given year are gay. That means 2.12% of people who are diagnosed with HIV are gay men. "The rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the US is more than 44 times that of other men." Pretty ugly statistics, huh?

Well 12% of our population are African Americans. That's a bit more than 4% wouldn't you say? 46% of people diagnosed with HIV in a given year are African Americans. So this means that 5.52% of people who are diagnosed with HIV are African Americans. "The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about 6 times as high as that of white men and nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men."

The percentage of African Americans who are diagnosed with HIV in a year is more than double that of gay men. Despite this, there is no ban to prevent African Americans from donating blood. If such a ban was proposed, it may spark a bit of outrage based on discrimination. Gay men represent a smaller percentage, yet the discrimination is completely appropriate. The rate of gay men who are diagnosed with HIV in a given year compared to straight men may be larger than the rate of African American men who are diagnosed with HIV in a given year compared to white men, but that does not change the overall percentages.
JigSaw :
The general counter to your argument is that plenty of straight people who don't have lifetime bans can also unknowingly have HIV. Coincidentally, your statistics apply to all people in America.

"CDC estimates that more than one million people are living with HIV in the United States. One in five (21%) of those people living with HIV is unaware of their infection."


I decided to do a bit more research before arguing. I went to FDA.gov. One of their pages suggested checking the HIV/AIDS Statistics and Surveillance page on CDC.gov. Here's some info I found:

This part supports your argument. MSM basically means gay men:
"MSM account for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the U.S. each year, as well as nearly half (48%) of people living with HIV.
While CDC estimates that MSM account for just 4% of the US male population aged 13 and older, the rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the US is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women."


This part is about African Americans and HIV:
"While blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for almost half (46%) of people living with HIV in the US, as well as nearly half (45%) of new infections each year. HIV infections among blacks overall have been roughly stable since the early 1990s.
At some point in their life, approximately one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV, as will one in 30 black women.
The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about six times as high as that of white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men, and more than twice that of black women.
The HIV incidence rate for black women is nearly 15 times as high as that of white women, and nearly four times that of Hispanic/Latino women."
-http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/us.htm

So... 4% of our population are gay men. 53% of people who get HIV in a given year are gay. That means 2.12% of people who are diagnosed with HIV are gay men. "The rate of new HIV diagnoses among MSM in the US is more than 44 times that of other men." Pretty ugly statistics, huh?

Well 12% of our population are African Americans. That's a bit more than 4% wouldn't you say? 46% of people diagnosed with HIV in a given year are African Americans. So this means that 5.52% of people who are diagnosed with HIV are African Americans. "The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about 6 times as high as that of white men and nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men."

The percentage of African Americans who are diagnosed with HIV in a year is more than double that of gay men. Despite this, there is no ban to prevent African Americans from donating blood. If such a ban was proposed, it may spark a bit of outrage based on discrimination. Gay men represent a smaller percentage, yet the discrimination is completely appropriate. The rate of gay men who are diagnosed with HIV in a given year compared to straight men may be larger than the rate of African American men who are diagnosed with HIV in a given year compared to white men, but that does not change the overall percentages.
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(edited by BNuge on 02-11-11 07:52 PM)    

02-11-11 11:40 PM
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I think the gay ban on donating blood is entirely unfair.

In Canada, you aren't allowed to donate blood if you've ever done lsd, and you can't donate if you've done cocaine the 12 months before donating, along with a few other restrictions. Completely understandable in my books, but restriction based entirely off of sexual orientation? Not right in the slightest >.>
I think the gay ban on donating blood is entirely unfair.

In Canada, you aren't allowed to donate blood if you've ever done lsd, and you can't donate if you've done cocaine the 12 months before donating, along with a few other restrictions. Completely understandable in my books, but restriction based entirely off of sexual orientation? Not right in the slightest >.>
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02-12-11 10:12 AM
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If the ban on homosexual blood is based on the fear that gay people have AIDS/HIV, there's a very simple solution for it.

Require that everyone, not just homos, have a test for any diseases, not just HIV, before donating.

Am I really the first person to think about this?
If the ban on homosexual blood is based on the fear that gay people have AIDS/HIV, there's a very simple solution for it.

Require that everyone, not just homos, have a test for any diseases, not just HIV, before donating.

Am I really the first person to think about this?
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02-12-11 11:35 AM
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Crawldragon : that is almost exactly what I was going to suggest. I think enough time has passed that the idea that only homosexual men are likely to carry HIV/Aids is out-dated and incorrect. I think the idea behind the ban was valid in the 80's before the disease was understood and when the majority of people who had it were homosexual men. However, I think now everyone should be tested to make sure they don't have this or many other blood born viruses like hepatitis.
Crawldragon : that is almost exactly what I was going to suggest. I think enough time has passed that the idea that only homosexual men are likely to carry HIV/Aids is out-dated and incorrect. I think the idea behind the ban was valid in the 80's before the disease was understood and when the majority of people who had it were homosexual men. However, I think now everyone should be tested to make sure they don't have this or many other blood born viruses like hepatitis.
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02-12-11 09:49 PM
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Ok first of all... thats a stupid law. Second, there's no difference between gays and straights! I know a gay person, and he's really nice. So they should unban it -Peyton
Ok first of all... thats a stupid law. Second, there's no difference between gays and straights! I know a gay person, and he's really nice. So they should unban it -Peyton
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BNuge : I am pleased to see that you have done such thorough research for your argument and I could not agree more with you.

Crawldragon : I think you have the right idea there. On the forms for donating they ask if you have ever had Hepatitis and if you have they usually don't let you donate, but a lot of people don't know. I honestly think that requiring a test would be a good thing, or at the very least testing the blood given. You can transfer certain types of cancer though transfusions but they don't ask about that either! The whole thing is just stupid.

If you have been sick, you cannot donate blood. If you have had a tattoo in the last year, you cannot donate blood. Why not make it so that if you have not passed an blood test for STDs and other blood-born diseases within the last six months you cannot donate blood?
BNuge : I am pleased to see that you have done such thorough research for your argument and I could not agree more with you.

Crawldragon : I think you have the right idea there. On the forms for donating they ask if you have ever had Hepatitis and if you have they usually don't let you donate, but a lot of people don't know. I honestly think that requiring a test would be a good thing, or at the very least testing the blood given. You can transfer certain types of cancer though transfusions but they don't ask about that either! The whole thing is just stupid.

If you have been sick, you cannot donate blood. If you have had a tattoo in the last year, you cannot donate blood. Why not make it so that if you have not passed an blood test for STDs and other blood-born diseases within the last six months you cannot donate blood?
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02-13-11 05:59 PM
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Elara :
Crawldragon :
geeogree :

I don't think they require that people be tested before donating, but I knew that they run tests on donated blood, so I looked it up.

Over a period of years, FDA has progressively strengthened the overlapping safeguards that protect patients from unsuitable blood and blood products:

Blood donors are now asked specific and very direct questions about risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease. This "up-front" screening eliminates approximately 90 percent of unsuitable donors.

FDA requires blood centers to maintain lists of unsuitable donors to prevent the use of collections from them.

Blood donations are tested for seven different infectious agents.


In addition to strengthening these safeguards, FDA has significantly increased its oversight of the blood industry:

FDA inspects all blood facilities at least every two years, and "problem" facilities are inspected more often.

Blood establishments are now held to quality standards comparable to those expected of pharmaceutical manufacturers.


While a blood supply with zero risk of transmitting infectious disease may not be possible, the blood supply is safer than it has ever been. As biological products, blood and blood products are likely always to carry an inherent risk of infectious agents. Therefore, zero risk may be unattainable.

-http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/default.htm


You'd think 7 tests and all the other work would mean something, but apparently not since the ban is still in effect. The three of you brought up testing, so I thought you might like to see this (thus the summoning).

Sorry if the rather long quote is spammy.
Elara :
Crawldragon :
geeogree :

I don't think they require that people be tested before donating, but I knew that they run tests on donated blood, so I looked it up.

Over a period of years, FDA has progressively strengthened the overlapping safeguards that protect patients from unsuitable blood and blood products:

Blood donors are now asked specific and very direct questions about risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease. This "up-front" screening eliminates approximately 90 percent of unsuitable donors.

FDA requires blood centers to maintain lists of unsuitable donors to prevent the use of collections from them.

Blood donations are tested for seven different infectious agents.


In addition to strengthening these safeguards, FDA has significantly increased its oversight of the blood industry:

FDA inspects all blood facilities at least every two years, and "problem" facilities are inspected more often.

Blood establishments are now held to quality standards comparable to those expected of pharmaceutical manufacturers.


While a blood supply with zero risk of transmitting infectious disease may not be possible, the blood supply is safer than it has ever been. As biological products, blood and blood products are likely always to carry an inherent risk of infectious agents. Therefore, zero risk may be unattainable.

-http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/default.htm


You'd think 7 tests and all the other work would mean something, but apparently not since the ban is still in effect. The three of you brought up testing, so I thought you might like to see this (thus the summoning).

Sorry if the rather long quote is spammy.
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(edited by BNuge on 02-13-11 06:01 PM)    

02-14-11 10:11 PM
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I must say that it does sound odd that homosexuals would be banned for life while others for only a year. Let me also say that the one-year ban also extends to those who have spent a period of time in a third-world country. The reason I believe this is that I overheard my dad speaking on the phone with someone concerning this since he would donate blood every year until recently when he was on a mission trip.

The facts presented from the cdc.gov article leave me with one question that asks about one unexplained variable. What percentage of blood donors are homosexual? Black? Hispanic? White heterosexual? Let me present a hypothetical scenario to explain why I am asking such questions. If homosexuals constitute a higher percentage of blood donors (let's say homosexuals make up 15% while all other minorities constitute 10% in total), and have a higher rate of HIV diagnoses, is it fair to block the specific group to reduce a greater possibility of transmitting HIVs?

Let me know if my question does not make sense. I typed this up at the spur of the moment and was a bit dehydrated, causing me to have a small headache.

All in all, I am "on the fence" about this subject since this is the first that I have ever heard about it.
I must say that it does sound odd that homosexuals would be banned for life while others for only a year. Let me also say that the one-year ban also extends to those who have spent a period of time in a third-world country. The reason I believe this is that I overheard my dad speaking on the phone with someone concerning this since he would donate blood every year until recently when he was on a mission trip.

The facts presented from the cdc.gov article leave me with one question that asks about one unexplained variable. What percentage of blood donors are homosexual? Black? Hispanic? White heterosexual? Let me present a hypothetical scenario to explain why I am asking such questions. If homosexuals constitute a higher percentage of blood donors (let's say homosexuals make up 15% while all other minorities constitute 10% in total), and have a higher rate of HIV diagnoses, is it fair to block the specific group to reduce a greater possibility of transmitting HIVs?

Let me know if my question does not make sense. I typed this up at the spur of the moment and was a bit dehydrated, causing me to have a small headache.

All in all, I am "on the fence" about this subject since this is the first that I have ever heard about it.
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