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According to the American Red Cross there is a severe blood shortage in the United States and citizens are being asked to donate blood to those in need. But did you know that gay men are prohibited from donating blood? Is the ban on gay blood donors based on medical fact or homophobia?
Comments
October 1, 2007 at 3:14 pm
(1) jose says:

i just found that out yesterday… as i tried but answered that question and couldnt .

messed up.

February 10, 2008 at 2:16 pm
(2) gunther allspach says:

That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard!! Just don’t tell them that you are gay!!!

April 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm
(3) Jess says:

It is worse than that. I am a hetrosexual female (mother of two). My husband had a boyfriend in college but has been married to me for 10 years. I AM NOT ALLOWED to give blood. I went right after 9/11, answered the entire questionnaire honestly and they told me that my husband can NEVER give blood, no matter what. But I can give blood after being divorced for a year. As far as I can tell, they are punishing both of us for “deviant” behavior.

July 12, 2008 at 2:01 am
(4) SEAN says:

My male cousin was a victim or rape by another man when he was young. Is he still able to donate blood?

March 26, 2009 at 5:06 am
(5) Daphne says:

I am a straight female who is engaged to a lovely man and i live in South Africa and the same rules apply here… i WILL not donate blood until gay men are allowed to and i have great pleasure in telling our blood bank NO, as they allow molesters and murderers to donate but not innocent gay men…. that makes no sense to me at all. Should someone in my family need my blood ill gladly give it to them but until then i will not.

May 25, 2009 at 12:53 pm
(6) Luismi says:

thats fucked up!! I cant donate!!! lets make a movement of not donating blood til donation’s blood policy change and be equal for everyone!!!

August 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm
(7) BB says:

Since african american males and females have a higher count(heterosexual) of hiv/aids why doesn’t the FDA ban them form donating blood: simple, homosexuals are still an easy target for hate and bigotry.

September 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm
(8) GMR says:

This isn’t discriminatory towards gay men, it’s discriminatory towards HIV, an infection that would only wipe out malpractice funds because people would receive transfusions that expose them to a life-threatening infection. …. you also cannot give blood if you’ve ever paid for sex and/or used intravenous drugs…. how is this any more discriminatory than patients that are at high risk for HIV when we do not have a test for it that’s 100% sensitive and specific?

October 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm
(9) Jacob says:

If gays are going to be discluded from donating blood for being high-risk. Then the same logic must be followed with black men who represent a high risk group themselves. A man having sex with a man doesn’t give you HIV/AIDS. Having sex with an infected person regardless of age, sex or race is what causes the disease. Denying responsible people the right to save lives because of their sexual orientation is discrimination. This policy is STUPID!

November 9, 2009 at 10:41 am
(10) justme says:

its shocking, im 16 and i’m gay.
so if my parents/grandparents or brothers or sisters needed my blood i could not give them it :O

if you have msn add me and talk about it :)

xx

December 9, 2009 at 10:25 am
(11) christina says:

i think this is so wrong!!!!!!!

February 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(12) Travis says:

This is probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
I cant donate blood? WTF. Seriously, boycott giving blood until anyone with un-infected blood can donate.

February 26, 2010 at 11:16 am
(13) Elli says:

The deciding factor for me here is that though non-gay people are trusted at their word (you could say you were faithful even though you were actually out having sex with countless strangers, etc) even if you and your gay partner were both virgins before you hooked up, the wording is such that you still can’t donate.
That makes this descreminatory, rather than just ‘safe’. I’m in the same boat as some other women who have commented here – I can’t donate because my husband had a boyfriend at one time. The woman on the phone cheerfully told me to call back when we haven’t had sex for 12 months!

March 1, 2010 at 11:20 am
(14) Matt says:

The reason you could return to donate after not being with your husband for 12 months is because that’s their determining window for the HIV virus. Can take up to 12 months since latest sexual contact to show up on a screening test.

March 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm
(15) Stuart says:

All they have to do is test all the blood they collect…oh right. They do that already. This is discrimination in it’s purest form. It disgusts me.

July 20, 2011 at 4:13 am
(16) j says:

It can take a while for HIV to show up on a blood test.

March 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm
(17) Brian H says:

Stuart is absolutely correct. They already test the donated blood for every known major disease including HIV, hepatitis A, B, C and others. This restriction was first begun as a reaction to the AIDS scare 25 years ago, when there was no definitive method of determining that blood was free from that infection. They initially excluded homosexual men & Haitians (yes, believe it or not). Now, it’s just purely unnecessary — and discrimination.

March 7, 2010 at 7:14 am
(18) rae says:

i give platelets often. i can tell you that even if you have a cold it can hurt the receiver. that is why they give you those cards with a number matching your donation, so you can call if you feel sick 24 hours after donating.

Aids is scary. i have lost a family member from it. if they are just finding out that cell phones may cause brain damage, that suntanning booths cause brain damage, are you really prepared and qualified and sure that someone who may not think they are HIV infected will get caught in the system?

The very thought of donating life to someone when you are in a high risk group sounds very selfish and reckless to me. There are hundreds of ways you can save a life.

Unfortunately, patients are not informed of viable gay blood donors and does not have the opportunity to decide if they are willing to accept the donation.

Why not try meals on wheels for people either with cancer or elderly or gay or quadriplegic or ________?

Some people are just upset they are deferred from giving blood.

I think that as long as a person is healthy, they should be able to donate. There needs to be a reorg of the system, but to give body fluids as a gay person and to not allow the recipient to choose and be informed —> is just wrong <—

AND IF YOU HOLD OUT GIVING BLOOD OR PLATELETS BECAUSE YOU DONT LIKE THE RULES YOU ARE LAME. anyone who puts their politics before their humanitarian duty has no business saving a life.

Dont give up tho, cuz i found this excerpt in an article written this year……
"Brian Moulton, chief legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign,the nation’s largest gay rights group, said they are hopeful that the policy, last reviewed in 2006, will change under President Barack Obama, “who is interested in looking at all the policies that have a discriminatory effect.” The goal, he said, is “to have policies in place that are based on the science” rather than “any discriminatory idea about our community.”"

March 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm
(19) Jerry says:

A prevrious poster summed it up: all you have to do is lie and say you’re not gay, and you can donate. So what’s the point of denying gay people the right to donate?

March 27, 2010 at 11:36 am
(20) Mats says:

Gays are not allowed to give bloog because gays have a high level of STDs and such.

Public health comes before liberal nonsense.

January 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(21) matt says:

Well, you are obviously an ignorant moron. Gays do not have higher rates of STD’s or HIV than anyone else, dumbass. Actually, if you do your homework or…. I don’t know…. read a book, you would know that STRAIGHT black men and women have higher rates of HIV than any other group. So, why are they not told they cannot donate blood? Because its bigotry. YOu are a dumbass.

April 13, 2010 at 12:20 am
(22) Josh says:

Wow Matt, that was one of the most intelligent responses I’ve ever read. As countless people above have said, blacks are at a higher risk for HIV/AIDS, does that mean we should go back 50 years and start discriminating against them in full force as well? The bottom line is that the blood (or bloog?) is tested for STDs (and such as you put it) and also, the percentage of false positives is much higher than the percentage of false negatives…please do some research and think about what you’re saying before making a mockery of Human Rights all over the internet.

April 13, 2010 at 7:24 am
(23) Eli says:

The idea was that they would eliminate high-risk groups from the blood pool due to statistical rigor. By introducing small high-risk groups, the risk of disease is increased with little significant increase in blood availability.

I don’t think it’s impossible to be in a homosexual relationship and be safe from disease, nor do I think that many heterosexuals have extremely unsafe sex lives.

I for one would never want to give blood or receive blood that even had the smallest chance of being tainted. How could you look some innocent stranger in the eye because you were careless and say “you have a terminal virus because I was defending my rights to partake in a voluntary task?” It’s a complex issue.

The ban should be on sexual promiscuity, not orientation. If you (or your partner) have been monogamous for less than X years than you should be banned. If you’re having sex with many people you can’t give blood. Not fair? What’s not fair is you don’t protect yourself and then knowingly expose others to *your* risk.

April 15, 2010 at 2:35 am
(24) Adam says:

I myself am gay even though I have recently came out to my family and because i was afraid all my life so I haven’t had any relationships or you could say any gay sex. So I have in the past donated my blood and i will again the next time the blood drive happens where i live. They will never know as long as i don’t tell them.

April 17, 2010 at 11:35 am
(25) Susanna says:

I am very suprised by the comments left above.
I believe this is absolutely a discriminatory and prejudice practice. As stated earlier, African Americans (who have a statistically higher rates of HIV than the queer population) should be banned as well if they are really just looking out for the rest of the population, but they won’t do that because they would get a ton of shit for being racist, which it would be! Just as banning queer people is homophobic.

I also think it is just as homophobic to assume that the queer population are less monogomous and have more sexual partners than the heterosexual population and sleep around more using less protection than the heterosexual population….I mean just look at the teen pregnancy rate….

Everyone who is sexually active does need to get tested often in order to protect yourself and your future sexual partners, because everyone who is sexually active has a chance of contracting a STI. Which is why safe sex education is so important and should be mandatory in the public education system.

As a queer peoson who has always made my sexual health a priority and who gets tested often, and who has always been clean, I am personally offended by Big Brother telling me that because of who I am and who I have slept with I am dirty and in danger of infecting the population with a disease (that I don’t have), this ideology is ignorant, prejudice, discriminatory, and homophobic and absolutely needs to be removed.

We have always had to fight to be seen as individuals and remove the stigmas which mainstream culture has placed upon us, we are pathologized and seen as being disease infested, dirty, immoral, and contagious…. and it is just another way for this culture to alienate us… we can’t adopt, we can’t be open in our own military, we can’t get married (which is a human right not a heterosexual privilege) and we can’t even give blood to help our fellow wo/man(or anyone in between, or anyone outside that binary all together)

it is problematic…. and shameful….and intolerant

April 18, 2010 at 10:40 am
(26) adrian says:

I am gay – I have great friendships that purposely dont involve sex so I stay clear of risk (I have a fantastic repetoire of masturbation that would make a porn producer envious). I have been donating blood for the past 4 years and wish to continue donating 3 times a year as I do already. Blood banking is a very serious and important concern. I feel the discipline of it has helped me keep std free. I am a humanist and believe that all expression once between consenting adults has a place. However, we keep reacting against the oppression of the system we have to rise above its stupidity and make our own decisions. We should all want to give blood, great! but also accept the cultural change it demands. Do NOT put some one else at risk, we must contain Aids and HIV or else in the long run we would exterminate oursleves.

April 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm
(27) Leo says:

Hey I am a Gay male and can not give blood. My ex boyfriend gives blood twice a year he just lies. I find that wrong I am not going to lie it took me a long time to accept myself and now I an’t going to deny who I am to give blood.

I hate that I can’t help save a life because I am gay. I know more straight people with HIV then Gay…..

May 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm
(28) Josh says:

I agree with Eli (slightly) even though I’m a gay male. Although she is missing a LOT of information. I’m studying epidemiology right now (specifically HIV). First of all false negatives mostly show up in the first three months people. Also, they have new rapid tests out that take 10 minutes to determine if you’re HIV+ or -. Eli, heterosexual sex is just as dangerous as homosexual sex. This may come as a shock, but more straight people have anal sex (the highest risk form of sex) than gay people! I for one have NEVER had anal sex. People, before you comment, READ A BOOK! Learn about the virus; learn about the topic before mouthing off. And I’m talking to both sides. I’ve seen a lot of facts thrown out that haven’t been true since this all started in the 80′s.

Remember, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS is not a virus. HIV is transferred via blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. Yea, it is lame if someone decides to stop giving blood just because I can’t. Please, if anything, go twice as often for my sake. Thanks for the thought though. It’s nice to hear empathetic people that care.

June 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm
(29) Rachael says:

Although I agree that the policy is highly unnecessary if they test the blood anyways, I ALSO THINK IT BULLSHIT TO HOLD BACK ON DONATING BLOOD BECAUSE OF THAT!!! Is it the patients fault for putting that policy?! Do you think all the patients that need blood are the ones denying homosexuals the right to donate? It’s not their fault, so why should u make them suffer for it. I think that’s just selfish and inconsiderate!

June 11, 2010 at 2:07 am
(30) gg says:

ever know bout ‘greater risk ‘ ?

June 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm
(31) DEE says:

Oh,come on,It is not dscrimination against gays,it’s protecting ppl,HIV and AIDS lays whats called “dormant” in the blood and homosexuals are having gay sex which is not the sole but MAIN way it is contracted ,so physicians know not to take any risks becuz they know they could have it.

August 3, 2010 at 2:31 am
(32) m says:

according to the blood donation rules, what exactly counts as males having sex with males?
what about a male who has only had oral sex with another male and nothing else?
i have been looking this up everywhere for about an hour but surprisingly enough, no luck so far.

August 3, 2010 at 2:37 am
(33) m says:

as per the blood donation rules, what exactly counts as male having sex with another male?
what if someone has only had oral sex with a male? can he or can he not donate blood?
i can’t seem to find any answer anywhere. any help would be appreciated.
thank you very much

August 11, 2010 at 5:05 pm
(34) Liam says:

To the poster above, You can not give blood if you have had oral sex with a man (even with a condom). I gave blood today and just found out …

September 29, 2010 at 6:54 am
(35) danielle says:

i shagged my brother hes gay, i like him and he gives me helfy blood when he shags me

October 21, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(36) terry says:

I think that the ban is just trying to protect people i know i dont want AIDS from 2 men having sex

October 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(37) I says:

This is why…

On Friday, CDC said the first reported US HIV transmission through blood products in eight years occurred in 2008, in a Colorado kidney transplant patient. An unidentified Missouri man in his 40s supplied the blood plasma that infected the patient. According to CDC, on his first visit to donate blood, the man concealed the fact that he had had anonymous sex with men and women. Men who have had any male-to-male sexual contact since 1977 are permanently deferred from donating blood in the United States, as are users of intravenous drugs not prescribed by a doctor, and persons who have accepted payment in exchange for sex. CDC believes the man became infected with HIV in a small window of time before he donated – approximately nine days. At that time, he had not developed antibodies that would have been detected when his blood was tested before being shipped to surgical centers. According to a CDC report, a laboratory tested the infected blood for HIV during the June 2008 donation and two tests came back negative. In August 2008, at an unidentified Colorado facility, the transplant patient received the man’s plasma.

The report, “HIV Transmission Through Transfusion – Missouri and Colorado, 2008,” was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2010;59(41):1335-1339). [Article source: http://www.denverpost.com/

MSM account for more than 53% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. each year.

December 14, 2010 at 9:17 am
(38) freakquency says:

Hi I am writing a paper and Gay rights and Human Rights, and this is something I wanted to talk about. I think it’s simply homophobic to still think in this day and age that gays are more likely to get AIDS.
if that’s the excuse I wonder how people in South Africa and the countries with like 70% and higher of HIV Positives are doing.
if that’s infection they are afraid of, donation centers can simply request a recent HIV/AIDS test result or better receive the donor, give them a slip and ask them to come back 8 days later with test results. then that would apply to everybody and we wouldn’t have to discriminate against anybody.

January 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm
(39) Dev says:

It makes absolutely no sense, as anal sex is common in heterosexual couples as well!

There is no difference in anal between male-male or male-female relationships, but it is true that anal sex holds the highest risk in transferring STD’s.

It is just because of the AIDS epidemic in the 80′s, it was known as the “gay” disease.

I personally don’t care, if they want to be without good blood then so be it. Those people that die because of their blood-type shortages should blame this law. It’s ridiculous.

May 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm
(40) vegas says:

discrimination

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