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Old 12th Jul 2013, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Red Cross blood donation

hi,

Has there been any movement on gays donating blood?

Not like straights are immune to HIV.

Any movement?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

The American Red Cross would support a change in the rules so that men who have sex with men have a one-year ban instead of a lifetime one, but so far that change hasn't gone through, sorry.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Don't they test the blood before anyways?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Canada changed their rules recently to allow men who have abstained from sex with other men for 5 years to donate blood again. So the 'lifetime ban' was lifted.

It's a step in the right direction, but still excludes those of us who are willing to donate and are living a very safe life sexually in a monogamous relationship. But I don't make the rules, so I need to accept them as they are.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Red Cross banned gay guys to give blood because of the AIDS crisis in the 80's. At the time, it was based on a scare rather than scientific evidence. Also, they think it's a shortcut to do this rather than screen the blood for STDs like straight people.

Although 5 years seems a bit lengthy, it's better than a lifetime ban.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

In the face of science, routine testing, and the fact that straights have HIV too it is plain stupid!

Gays have no exclusive on HIV.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

The reason is that while MSM (men who have sex with men) make up a small portion of the overall population, they're largely the group hit hardest by new HIV cases; they're "high risk groups". Though, I do think it's silly that a promiscuous heterosexual male might not have to go through so much red tape compared to say, a gay man who has only had limited encounters, been tested, engaged in safe sex, etc.

I support the idea of a one year deferral.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 03:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

What about 3+ clean HIV tests and monogamous relationship?

Apply it across the board gay and straight.

Anything else is risky. Not a perfect system but unbiased.

They are playing this game assuming all straights are "clear";



---------- Post added 12th Jul 2013 at 02:38 PM ----------

What is the estimated male gay population in 2010 and what percent of those acquired HIV?

Infections here;
CDC ? HIV in the United States ? Statistics Overview ? Statistics Center ? HIV/AIDS

What percent of total gay male population gets infected annually?

If it is a low percent...?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Quote:
According to a Williams Institute review conducted in April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—which would correspond to approximately 11.7 million Americans
Quote:
In 2010, the estimated number of new HIV infections among MSM was 29,800, a significant 12% increase from the 26,700 new infections among MSM in 2008.2
So pick a very conservative number of 2 million might qualify as MSM of the 11.7 million queer US population.

26,700 / 2,000,000 = negligible percent
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 09:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Heh, before I even came out (first time that I donated blood actually, in high school, never had sex with anyone), the preliminary HIV test came up positvie, but they run a "more specific" test afterwards which came up negative (and every HIV test since then has been negative).

So for a bunk test, even if I were straight, I'm deferred for life. Tell me how fair that is.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

^ rainbowman, being someone that has appreciated the availability of blood for transfusions far more than most,

I'd still rather they excluded people who were actually negative by being too careful than have a tiny bit more blood on hand.

As for excluding gay people, it's a load of crap.. Everyone's blood should be tested as thoroughly as possible and if the testing is good enough for straight people, it's good enough for gay people.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Hi,

I recently talked to Red Cross...

They now have re-entry process for false positive testers. This is where you donated blood and Red Cross ran a test it came back positive, they retested again a couple times (same sample) and it was negative (false positive).

The woman said you have to call, make an appt for re-entry testing. Fair enough.

But a gay man would have to lie to donate.

A home HIV test kit is ~$44 so Red Cross pays a fraction of that per test.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 11:36 AM   #13
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Oh, and Skiff, you may be interested in the National Gay Blood Drive that took place yesterday (sorry I didn't know about it earlier, but the results, which will likely be put up on its website at some point, should be interesting). Organised by the makers of a documentary about anti-LGBT discrimination in the US, it was an initiative to get gay and bi men to go to blood donation centers, get a HIV test, and, if it turned up negative, try to donate (without lying about their MSM status). You might still be able to participate, actually.

Anyway, the point was to show how much safe blood could be gotten but isn't being gotten, thus showing the stupidity of the lifetime ban. The results and the impact it did or did not have -- I don't know how many people took part in the drive -- will be part of the documentary Second-Class Citizens.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

I wouldn't have to lie about MSM status to actually donate (right now - I have yet to have sex with another man), but orientation is a whole other thing - if I were to have sex, obviously the propensity would be towards another man.

I guess that means I can donate up til the time that I'm active, given skiff's re-entry link above?

Also, why is it just MSM? Why not lesbians as well? They make it sound like gay men are the evil incarnate or something like that.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 01:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

RainbowMan: Good luck donating! It's just MSM because lesbian sex is actually the safest natural sex there is -- there is the lowest risk of disease transmission, and lesbians generally weren't involved in the HIV scare. Vaginal sex is a bit less safe, and anal sex, which is associated strongly with men who have sex with men, is the least safe kind of sex if one isn't using condoms -- it has the highest rate of disease transmission. That's part of why HIV was prevalent in the gay male community, and it's why MSMs are blocked from donating but WSWs aren't.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 02:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Hi,

That is true but it is 2013 not 1985, and there is reliable testing, and prevention methods and not all gay men enjoy anal sex.

Look at hepatitis B;

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Biologi.../UCM210268.pdf

There was a lifetime ban on a false positive until 2010. The person NEVER had the disease, it was a testing error and due to a RED CROSS (and other) lab error people were lifetime banned.

Gee, who can catch and carry hepatitis B?

===
The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers
===

Every human can carry HBV.

Banning gays is a marketing tool to garner acceptance by an IGNORANT population. There is no rational with modern testing.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 02:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Indeed -- there is no justification for the ban now and it should be struck down as soon as possible. We have good testing, and anyone can carry diseases, not just gay men.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 02:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

I understand the need for precaution, I just think turning down all active MSM is a bit overboard. As it is, male-male sex is heavily stigmatized around the world, seen as unnatural, dangerous, aggressive, and filthy, in some countries punishable, even by death. Rules like this seem to only add insult to injury, not to mention are overtly discriminatory.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 03:07 AM   #19
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

Hi,

Banning gays is a marketing tool to garner acceptance by an IGNORANT population. There is no rational with modern testing.

How much you want to bet there are white people who don't want black people's blood too. And Red Cross catered to that too;

Quote:
In the 1940s—while the horrors of Nazism were being implemented in Europe and the American Red Cross was separating black and white blood donated by soldiers fighting against Hitler's program of racial cleansing—anthropologist Ashley Montagu, in his attack on scientific racism in Race: Man's Most Dangerous Myth , assured his readers that “there are no known or demonstrable differences in the character of the blood of different peoples, except that some traits of the blood, like sickle-cell anemia and thellasemia are possessed in greater frequency by some than by others. In that sense St. Paul 's obiter dictum ‘[that God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth is literally true.'” Yet the discourse of race continues to be infused with scientific and popular discourse of blood. The belief that “blood”—the designated carrier of character since the era of the Greek humoral system—plays a role in genetic inheritance has been one of the most inveterate obstacles in the dismantling of scientific notions of racial inheritance.
Duh! Institutionalized racism.

---------- Post added 14th Jul 2013 at 02:12 AM ----------

The American Red Cross African-American Blood Ban Scandal | Defense Media Network

---------- Post added 14th Jul 2013 at 02:12 AM ----------

The American Red Cross African-American Blood Ban Scandal | Defense Media Network
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 03:42 AM   #20
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Default Re: Red Cross blood donation

It's offensive and homophobic. I've boycotted blood donation because of it, and will continue to do so until a sensible, scientifically sound policy takes it's place.
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