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Why can straight people and lesbians donate blood, but gay men cannot?

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 10:57 PM
  • 12 Replies

 I donated today, and while doing the survey, I realized there were 5 out of 15 questions related to men having sex with men. One blatantly said "Are you a man that has ever had sex with another man?" I asked the lady and she said that if I said yes, it would exclude me from being able to donate blood.

Can anyone answer why? We are not in the 80's & 90's at the height of the AIDS epidemic, I though our culture was a little more educated by now, but I guess I am wrong. Or maybe I am ignorant. Is there something I do not know?

by on Jun. 3, 2010 at 10:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
norahsmommy
by Bronze Member on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:01 PM

I have no idea, other than that I guess gay men have a higher chance of contracting HIV than the rest of the population?  It may be because HIV tends to 'hide' in the blood for a while before showing up. When you go get tested for it you are supposed to go back every 6 months I think a couple of times before they can clear you.  So maybe when they check the donated blood they may miss that it is infected?  I don't know.  It doesn't sound right to have that on a survey but I suppose it wouldn't be on there without a good reason.

kgsharber
by Member on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:03 PM

 I know. They were so busy, the nurse never really gave me the time to ask, so I thought I would ask here.

Quoting norahsmommy:

I have no idea, other than that I guess gay men have a higher chance of contracting HIV than the rest of the population?  It may be because HIV tends to 'hide' in the blood for a while before showing up. When you go get tested for it you are supposed to go back every 6 months I think a couple of times before they can clear you.  So maybe when they check the donated blood they may miss that it is infected?  I don't know.  It doesn't sound right to have that on a survey but I suppose it wouldn't be on there without a good reason.

 

TruthSeeker.
by Milami on Jun. 3, 2010 at 11:09 PM

 Gay men are at a greater statistical odds for contracting HIV because they engage in anal intercourse.  Considering HIV tests can have a false negative for 6 months they are automatically disqualified from giving blood.

 The questionnaire should ask Everyone if they have engaged in anal sex in the past X amount of months and when their last HIV test was.

 Homosexuality does not make one any less or more monogamous than anyone else, it only makes them more statistically vulnerable to the HIV virus.

 

    Different, but not less~Temple Grandin

toomanypoodles
by Ruby Member on Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:11 AM

 High risk.  Gays are not being singled out---there are MANY risk factors that will have you be denied from giving blood. 

stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:14 AM

Actually if you are a gay man you cannot give blood it is the only factor for denial. It has been that way since 1983 and is currently being reviewed but the ban has not been lifted.

Quoting toomanypoodles:

 High risk.  Gays are not being singled out---there are MANY risk factors that will have you be denied from giving blood. 


Kaelansmom
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 1:28 AM

 They are working on lifting it now...

Quoting stormcris:

Actually if you are a gay man you cannot give blood it is the only factor for denial. It has been that way since 1983 and is currently being reviewed but the ban has not been lifted.

Quoting toomanypoodles:

 High risk.  Gays are not being singled out---there are MANY risk factors that will have you be denied from giving blood. 


 

Susan0805
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 1:29 AM

Homosexuals still have the highest numbers of aids patients. Look at stats for the cdc.

muslimah
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 2:43 AM

We may not be in the 80's and a little more educated on sexual protection but what about those who had unprotected sex in or before the 80's when aids came to light and was at it's peak? Even with more education not everyone takes advantage of it and protects themselves.

Now I could be wrong about this but I believe that because anal sex is a high risk sexual act when precautions are not taken and there is a higher chance of blood contact that even a women who were to say she has had anal sex maybe excluded.

I know there are allot of things that can exclude someone from giving blood including anyone who ever had sex for money or a history of many different illnesses and I for one am happy that there exclusions because I would hate to have to be the one receiving blood knowing that there was no screening.

 

nysa76
by Silver Member on Jun. 4, 2010 at 2:54 AM

 It isn't just about HIV.  It's about HEP and other diseases transmitted sexually.  There is a greater risk for skin tearing with anal sex which opens the door to contract any STD.  As stated by a PP, not all of these show up right away on tests and not all use proper protection.  With the risk of infection going up with what is considered risky behavior, the medical profession, at this time, do not want to risk the already immunocompromised with an infection/disease that skimmed under tests.

It isn't meant to be discriminatory.  It is simply based on risk factors.

muslimah
by on Jun. 4, 2010 at 3:03 AM


Quoting nysa76:

 It isn't just about HIV.  It's about HEP and other diseases transmitted sexually.  There is a greater risk for skin tearing with anal sex which opens the door to contract any STD.  As stated by a PP, not all of these show up right away on tests and not all use proper protection.  With the risk of infection going up with what is considered risky behavior, the medical profession, at this time, do not want to risk the already immunocompromised with an infection/disease that skimmed under tests.

It isn't meant to be discriminatory.  It is simply based on risk factors.

I have never heard of HEP. What is it?

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