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Unfairness Of Banning Gays From Blood Donating  
User currently offlineMiCorazonAzul From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1992 times:

So this topic was being discussed yesterday on a Sirius Out Q Gay Radio show. Basically, anyone who has tried to donate blood knows that they ask if you have participated in homosexual encounters...if you are HONEST and say yes, you get the boot. So, the big topic of discussion is: why is it that gays are discriminated against when a straight man could lie and say he has never been involved with a prostitute for example? Another thing is, when some people think of a gay person they immediately think HIV/AIDS...very unfortunate. So, the numbers clearly indicate that the MAJORITY of HIV/AIDS cases are amongst black men. So, if they are truly trying to make our blood supply "safer" by banning gays from donating, why not ban black men???? I'm not saying they should but using the "reasons" for gay men not being able to donate....seems like the proper thing. Of course if that were to happen, there would be a civil right outrage and essentially a VERY BIG PROBLEM. This point was actually made by a listener of the show who called in and I found it very interesting. This issue was also brought to light because of a case that recently occurred. Don't know the exact details but apparently, a gay person was badly injured and was in need of blood but had a rare blood type which his partner ALSO had yet the hospital did NOT allow the blood transfusion.

My opinion on the whole issue? Instead of focusing on who is donating and banning people from doing so, focus on IMPROVING the screening measures to prevent contaminated blood from entering our blood banks. We all know the system is flawed because ANYONE can lie to the questions they ask.

So, what are your thoughts?

[Edited 2006-01-24 20:00:28]

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheCoz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1969 times:

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Thread starter):
So, the numbers clearly indicate that the MAJORITY of HIV/AIDS cases are amongst black men

False, according to the CDC.



Also, this graph is relevant as well. Also from the CDC.



Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Thread starter):
they ask if you have participated in homosexual encounters

While being gay may not be a choice, your actions are. That's where the loophole lies. Hypothetically, you can be gay and give blood, but if you have homosexual encounters (actions) then you can't...supposedly.


User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1963 times:

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Thread starter):
Another thing is, when some people think of a gay person they immediately think HIV/AIDS...very unfortunate. So, the numbers clearly indicate that the MAJORITY of HIV/AIDS cases are amongst black men. So, if they are truly trying to make our blood supply "safer" by banning gays from donating, why not ban black men????

They ask you more than just, "have you had homosexual encounters." They ask SPECIFICS....

For instance,

In high school, we had a blood drive. One of the questions was, "Have you ever touched your tongue to another persons anus?"

They go on and on about your sexual history. Of course in highschool, most people lied. And in fact I know many gay men who give blood and lie about their sexuality.

I do, however, think it is a bit discriminatory to ban gay men from giving blood. HIV and AIDS are not gay diseases. The reason why people think they are is because the gay community promotes HIV awareness more so than the straight community. Not to mention people are just ignorant and associate the disease with gay men, when in fact, the disease is growing exponentially in the straight community. (Most likely because they don't protect themselves because they still think it is a "gay disease").

Finally, don't they test the blood in some way before it is sent to a blood bank? I mean, there are other blood born pathogens that can live MUCH MUCH longer outside the human body than AIDS or HIV, such as hepatitis A, B, and C.

UAL


User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8455 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1950 times:
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This is a hot topic here right now, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance got over 600 of their members to donate blood a couple of weeks ago and lie about their sexual orientation on the forms. Personally I think it is the wrong way to go about it, this just pisses people off and gets their backs up even more.


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1950 times:

Quoting TheCoz (Reply 1):

While being gay may not be a choice, your actions are. That's where the loophole lies. Hypothetically, you can be gay and give blood, but if you have homosexual encounters (actions) then you can't...supposedly.

same here. And it's been like that for a long time.

Gay men are discouraged because of HIV and other conditions. It's not just HIV that's a problem, so are other STDs which often flare up significantly within the gay community. You can be as politically correct as you want but it does not make any difference to the basic fact that gay men tend to be promiscuous, and STD rates are significantly higher in that group.


User currently offlineUAL747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1950 times:

Quoting TheCoz (Reply 1):
False, according to the CDC.

Your graph is not entirely true. It shows that out of 160,433 cases of HIV, 32% of the cases were seen in African Americans. While this seems less than what occurs in the white population, you aren't taking into context that the black population in the United States is a lot less than the white population.

I don't have the figures, but proportionally, I'd assume that the number of HIV cases is indeed higher in the African American population.

Also, consider this.

Women, and gay men who are "bottoms" run a much higher risk of contracting the disease than others. Gay men who receive are more likely because the tissue that makes up the inside of the rectum is much more prone to cuts and bleeding because the tissue is much more fragile. Thus, transmission during unprotected sex is a lot more common.

For women, while their tissue inside the vagina is stronger than inside of the rectum, they have a much greater chance of contracting the disease than a heterosexual male.

The heterosexual male, or a gay male that does not receive, is even less likely of contracting the disease.

UAL

[Edited 2006-01-24 20:10:03]

User currently offlineMiCorazonAzul From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1950 times:

Quoting TheCoz (Reply 1):

According to the CDC, in 2003 there were almost DOUBLE the amount of aids cases in black people who had 21,304 compared to white people who had 12,222. In the past whites have been in a majority if you will, but in the last few years, the number in cases in the black population has grown. Besides, that NOT the point, it could be purple people for all I care. Point is: if the majority of cases are amongst X ethnic group, why not ban them also from donating blood?


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1939 times:

the technology for testing blood is still imperfect. the federal ban is a holdover from before i was even born and while the restriction says "you must not have had male-to-male contact since 1977," well we all know what happens shortly after 1977 when an epidemic was recognized in gay men--fast forward a few years and you can see the policy was formulated in the mid-1980 when HIV was new and very unknown.

when it was recognized that HIV caused AIDS it wasnt until 1985 that a method for testing for HIV was even developed. so you can imagine why there was a ban put in place. what rankles gay men the most is that any homosexual activity since 1977 results in, what is essentially, a lifetime ban on blood donation. homosexuality is placed in the same class as prostitution and intravenous drug use, practices that also result in a permanent ban on giving.

statistics speak volumes here: gay men continue to be at very high risk for HIV and there are relatively few gay men in the population. add to the the "infection window" when a person may have HIV but not test positive for months.

the official thinking for why gay men should not be allowed to donate, therefore, goes something like this: if the blood donor pool is opened to healthy gay men, not many more potential donors are included given the small numbers of gay men overall. assume 5 percent of the 130 million American males are gay, which gives a rough estimate of 6.5 million gay men in the US. assume at least 85 percent of these men are healthy, HIV-uninfected, with no other exclusions and that they would donate blood at roughly the same rate as the rest of the population (less than 5 percent). this results in an expansion of the donor pool by only about 250,000 people. at the same time the donor pool is opened up to a much larger number of potentially HIV-infected people. the risk of allowing gay men to donate is therefore disproportionate to the benefit of a relatively small increase in the donor pool.

the FDA studied the issue around 2000 and a proposal to change the guidlines. however at that time, human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8) was a newly discovered virus thought to be the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). HHV-8 is also widespread among gay men, which helps explain the early, baffling concentration of KS among gay AIDS patients but not heterosexual ones. although KS in gay men is almost always the result of infection with both HIV and HHV-8, there have been a few isolated cases of KS in gay men with HHV-8 alone. data then emerging on HHV-8 show that it shares a similar epidemiological profile with HIV. gay men begin acquiring HHV-8 during late adolescence when sexual activity begins, and its incidence accelerates through early adulthood. the virus appears rarely in the U.S. heterosexual populations.

so yes, while i am offended and may never be able to give blood, general restrictions such as this are well founded in biostats.


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1932 times:

Quoting TheCoz (Reply 1):
While being gay may not be a choice, your actions are

which the FDA studied language that would have been somewhere along the lines of "if you have not had male to male contact within the last 5 years" then you could give blood. but what gay adult male would not have sex within 5 years? the 5 year period also was to close any window of infection for that person. the 5 year period is also the same for organ and tissue transplant patients.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21480 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1919 times:

What makes it really insulting is that it is not a reason for exclusion being promiscuous and careless as long as you're straight. You can be gay and careful and you won't be admitted even if you're anything but promiscuous, and your straight neighbour who just "got it" from sleeping around without protection (and hasn't generated any detectable antibodies yet) is not asked about his risky behaviour!

That is what makes it pure hypocrisy!

[Edited 2006-01-24 20:28:13]

User currently offlineBigOrange From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2365 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

It might seem unfair to ban gays from giving blood, but so is banning anyone who has lived in the UK for more than 6 months.

That happens here in the US, so my wife and I cannot donate blood even if we had the very rare blood type.


User currently offlineTheCoz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 5):
Your graph is not entirely true. It shows that out of 160,433 cases of HIV, 32% of the cases were seen in African Americans. While this seems less than what occurs in the white population, you aren't taking into context that the black population in the United States is a lot less than the white population.

I don't have the figures, but proportionally, I'd assume that the number of HIV cases is indeed higher in the African American population.

Very good point. It's quite possible that you may be correct. I suppose a visit to the US Census web site may help validate conclusions one way or another.

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet...SF1_U_QTP5&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U


User currently offlineTheCoz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Reply 6):
Besides, that NOT the point, it could be purple people for all I care. Point is: if the majority of cases are amongst X ethnic group, why not ban them also from donating blood?

Because you can't pin behavior to a specific ethnic group. As Klaus said, blood banks need to focus on individual behavior; not ethnicity.


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
That is what makes it pure hypocrisy!

normally i'd agree, but this is pure unadulterated biostatistics. science doesnt lie.

well except to the evangelicals.

[Edited 2006-01-24 20:26:19]

User currently offlineFlyAUA From Austria, joined May 2005, 4604 posts, RR: 56
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Thread starter):
So, what are your thoughts?

Hey... if they don't want me to donate my blood, that's their loss. Couldn't care less  snooty 



Not drinking, also isn't a solution!
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21480 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1893 times:

Quoting VSLover (Reply 13):
normally i'd agree, but this is pure unadulterated biostatistics. science doesnt lie.

As I said, not asking other people for actual risky behaviour is what I see as problematic. I'm aware of the significance of the numbers, but the increasing hetero infection rate merely underlines my point.


User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1887 times:

I do think it is discriminatory, but it does give me an excuse when they have the blood drives at work.


An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlineNordair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1887 times:

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 14):

Hey... if they don't want me to donate my blood, that's their loss. Couldn't care less

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 


User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1876 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
As I said, not asking other people for actual risky behaviour is what I see as problematic.

they do. but how would a straight married man respond to a question of "have you ever had any male to male sexual contact since 1977" forgetting those few months in college back in 1983? thats why the questioning of donors is only one part of a three part testing process to ensure blood. even all three steps do not guarantee absolute safety, but fairly close.


User currently offlineDvk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1058 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Continuing the blanket ban on gays donating blood is a political issue, not a scientific one. Appropriate screening is blind to sexual orientation, and is focused on risky sexual activity or drug use alone. Despite all the statistics quoted above, most reputable medical and scientific organizations have recommended dropping the ban on gays donating blood. African Americans and women are the groups with the most rapidly increasing rates of HIV infection in the U.S., but nobody has proposed banning blacks and women from blood donation. It's part of the same politicized homophobia that tries to automatically bar anyone who's HIV+ from entering the U.S.


I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21480 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1863 times:

The problem is that promiscuity and lack of protection are not in the question catalogs I've seen so far, which is a mistake.

And actually being gay is not one of the points anyway, "just" m/m sex since 1977.  Yeah sure


User currently offlineWe're Nuts From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1863 times:

So if you know you don't have HIV/AIDS, just lie. And be careful not to slur your ess's or flap your wrist around, either.


Dear moderators: No.
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1854 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
What makes it really insulting is that it is not a reason for exclusion being promiscuous and careless as long as you're straight. You can be gay and careful and you won't be admitted even if you're anything but promiscuous, and your straight neighbour who just "got it" from sleeping around without protection (and hasn't generated any detectable antibodies yet) is not asked about his risky behaviour!

That is what makes it pure hypocrisy!

If you ever lived in a country that had/has mad cow disease, I believe you also cannot give blood. Even if you don't eat red meat of any kind.

Just as hypocritical perhaps, but given the flaws in our current ability to screen donated blood, a necessary precaution.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1854 times:

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 10):
but so is banning anyone who has lived in the UK for more than 6 months.

If one's ever been to or visited Haiti, you're pretty much banned from donating for life.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21480 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1847 times:

Quoting Dvk (Reply 19):
It's part of the same politicized homophobia that tries to automatically bar anyone who's HIV+ from entering the U.S.

At least the US exclusion list I've seen looks pretty much the same as the one of the german Red Cross. So it's not just a US problem. I guess there is an interest to achieve commonality between the different international organizations for easy blood exchange, so they seem to adopt the same set of rules.


25 Post contains images MiCorazonAzul : Very true. The simple fact that you engaged in homosexual activities automatically bans you from donating blood. Yet a straight man could be sleeping
26 Pope : I would imagine that this also has to do with the fact that laws discriminating against someone on the basis of race are subject to strict scrutiny wh
27 UAL747 : What happens if you've just had an HIV test and you are HIV- and you haven't slept with anyone since and it's been at least a year since your last sex
28 Post contains images Kaddyuk : The basis is because HIV occours mostly in Gay Men... Here is the proof... If they ban homosexual men from donating, then they are cutting out a BIG p
29 808TWA : I have the same problem in Canada. Since I lived in the UK up till 1992 and have consumed beef, there is a "possibility" of me having acquired the BS
30 Post contains links Xpat : Interesting that this and this Who Has Registered As A Bone Marrow Donor? (by Dougloid Jan 24 2006 in Non Aviation) post are running simultaneously. I
31 Post contains links Klaus : Both threads have their origin in this one: Airliners.net Non Aviation: My Grandson Is Gravely Ill.
32 VSLover : well has anyone who feels discriminated in this thread considered if you needed blood, would you want it knowing all persons engaged in male-to-male c
33 We're Nuts : Kaddyuk is obviously one of the 63% of internet users who doesn't know that 96% of internet statistics are complete bullshit.
34 Fumanchewd : Its not discrimanatory at all. They are merely looking for the most risky behaviors, not if you are gay. You could be heterosexual and have engaged in
35 Redngold : The American Red Cross and the FDA are working with calculated risks. That said, I would take blood from a homosexual man, and I'd donate for one, too
36 Klaus : Well, it seems that is exactly not what they're doing! Otherwise a careless promiscuous hetero wouldn't just slip through the grid.
37 JeepBoy : Blood = Blood If it has been tested and is clean then why the hell would you worry about whom it was from? The blood banks in all our countries need
38 VSLover : because if you read the statistics, the three step process for screening blood is still an imprefect process and can still turn out batches infected
39 Post contains images Fumanchewd : Oh god! Don't be such a drama queen. Some times things don't work out the way we want them to. I agree that there are many hetero sluts who are high-
40 Jap : Excuse me? What is the one sexual activity where the chance of catching the HIV virus from someone else is biggest? ANAL SEX. Why? Because it's easy
41 Kaddyuk : We're Nuts is obviously one of the 59% of internet users who speak complete and utter bullshit 100% of the time...
42 Fumanchewd : Boys, boys....... ....be careful to not fight and hurt one another. Blood donors from airlners.net seem to be pretty rare from what I can ascertain.
43 Jafa39 : I got banned from giving blood because i had been on holiday to tropical areas, I felt violated. Thing is, HIV infection in some areas is on the slow-
44 Post contains images Andz : Glad to see someone knows how to use the word "myriad"
45 Flyingbabydoc : The system tries to compensate by checking the blood probes with PCR (detects viral RNA or DNA in some cases) instead of only western-blotting the pr
46 WhiteHatter : You have to accept that the rules were introduced purely to try and reduce contamination from entering the blood supply chain. Look how many people h
47 Doona : In Sweden, they would never ask this. None of their business, and they know it. Instead, they take a blood test. Anything that might be wrong shows u
48 Flyingbabydoc : My point exactly. It is not targeted against gays or any other group. It would be much better if everyone would get tested and those that were health
49 Fastenseatbelt : As far as I am concerned, if they don't want my blood, they won't get it. But then stop showing those ads on tv that tell you that people die beacause
50 Post contains images FlyAUA : I'm always right Nope, they don't I don't know on what kind of population those statistics were compiled, but my friend works with HIV patients in Au
51 SA7700 : Ditto. In South Africa, the rate of HIV infection amongst heterosexuals has long ago surpassed that of homosexual men. In fact, it has been "dubbed"
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