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Fri Jun 17, 2016, 07:57 PM

Lift the blood donation ban on gay and bisexual U.S. citizens

For a long history, there has been a blood donation ban on gay and bisexual men. Recently, the FDA has changed the law indicating the a gay man must remain abstinent and not engage in any sexual intercourse with other men for one year. This revision is a mockery of the LGBT community and it still promotes the ideology that being gay is transmittable through a simple blood transfusion. Both the law and revision are absurd and only inhibits the amount of blood acquired for necessary operations. In light of the massacre in Florida, where over 100 gay U.S. citizens were either brutally killed or injured, many people in the community want to step and and donate to their friends and family. However with this regulation, they may be forbidden to do so.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/lift-blood-donation-ban-gay-and-bisexual-us-citizens

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Lift the blood donation ban on gay and bisexual U.S. citizens (Original post)
beergood Jun 2016 OP
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #1
WhisCo Jun 2016 #3
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #4
FSogol Jun 2016 #6
840high Jun 2016 #27
WillowTree Jun 2016 #7
mythology Jun 2016 #8
ohnoyoudidnt Jun 2016 #19
Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #12
Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #14
uppityperson Jun 2016 #16
Thor_MN Jun 2016 #2
Aerows Jun 2016 #5
Behind the Aegis Jun 2016 #9
Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #15
uppityperson Jun 2016 #17
Behind the Aegis Jun 2016 #18
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #20
Behind the Aegis Jun 2016 #21
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #23
uppityperson Jun 2016 #26
uppityperson Jun 2016 #25
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #28
uppityperson Jun 2016 #29
Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #30
panader0 Jun 2016 #10
Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #11
uppityperson Jun 2016 #13
Behind the Aegis Jun 2016 #22
uppityperson Jun 2016 #24

Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:06 PM

1. The FDA is not worried about being gay being transmitted through a blood transfusion

 

In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States. They make up 2% of the population.

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/

That puts them in a high risk group. I don't see a problem with the FDA blocking certain high risk groups from donating to ensure the safety of the blood supply. (I'm in a high risk group and banned for live because I lived in Europe). Its probably easier to ban me than it is to test for CJD when people donate blood)(CJD blood test didn't even exist until recently)

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:07 PM

3. It still isn't right to discriminate. If they test clean let them donate.

 

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Response to WhisCo (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:11 PM

4. Test are not 100% reliable

 

Should political correctness be more important than safety of the blood supply?

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:19 PM

6. Let public health officials make public health decisions. n/t

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:23 PM

27. This nurse says NO.

 

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Response to WhisCo (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:20 PM

7. It isn't about discrimination. It's about the safety of the blood supply.

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Response to WhisCo (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:41 PM

8. At 3 months 98% of HIV cases have antibodies, fresh blood can be stored for 42 days

 

3 months is greater than 42 days. With the antibody tests it takes several weeks for the body to produce the antibodies to HIV.

The faster test is significantly more expensive and is also less accurate.

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Response to mythology (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:04 PM

19. Okay. But the test only asks if you are gay.

Actually, IIRC it asks if you have had gay sex within the past 20 years or something along those lines. What about gay people who are in monogamous relationships or males who havent had gay sex I over a year?

There is some room to make the rules more inclusive and still be safe.

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Response to WhisCo (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:19 PM

12. The problem is that the test won't turn positive quickly enough to stop infected blood

from entering the blood supply.

It's a technical problem.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:26 PM

14. The numbers are still getting worse - 2013 was 65% of new infections.

Hopefully new advances will make a difference, but the very high proportion of new HIV infections among young MSM right now are deeply concerning.

Of course they shouldn't be donating blood. We are trying to knock the infection out of the population in any way we can. We need to use every tool available.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:31 PM

16. Men accounted for 76% of all adults and adolescents living with HIV infection at the end of 2010 in

Ban men

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/men/index.html

Even better...
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/age/index.html
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through anal or vaginal sex or by sharing drug-use equipment with an infected person

Ban anyone in those groups, anyone having anal or vaginal sex or sharing drug use equipment.

Ban anyone between the ages of 20-50.
Estimated Diagnoses of HIV Infection by Age, 2013, United States

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Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:07 PM

2. Just as a point of reference, having a transfusion also bars you for a year from donating.

 

I will not be able to donate until next January, due to a complication from a normally simple procedure that caused me to lose a significant volume of blood.

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Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 08:12 PM

5. I can't give due to body weight.

 

I would if I could, though.

I gave once, and fainted. They called me for *months* hoping I could donate, because I'm an 0-neg.

If I ever get above 110lbs, I'll be proud to give.

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Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:19 PM

9. Codified homophobia.

I expect nothing less and am not surprised that people still defend this type of bigotry.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:30 PM

15. No, it isn't. Other populations at a high risk also have similar bans, several for a lifetime.

Injectable non-prescription drugs, sex workers, etc.

Because we have gaps in screening, eliminating subpopulations with high incidence rates is still necessary.

If the testing could accurately detect new infections, it would be a lot easier.

As for homophobia, there is no similar rule for women who have sex with women, and that is because there is a very low HIV/STD incidence rate in that population.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #15)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:32 PM

17. And no similar rule for women who have had anal sex, which is very high risk.

Eliminate by behavior.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #15)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:44 PM

18. Yes, it is.

When they talk about risk BEHAVIOR then it isn't an issue, but when it is a group of people, then, yes, it is codified bigotry. It is homophobic against gay men, which are homosexuals, thus the use of the word "homophobia".

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:06 PM

20. Do you think the CDC is lying to you?

 

MSM are 60 times more likely to have HIV than MSW.

There fact is MSM carries higher risk than MSW. 60 times higher risk. If thats not significant I dont know what is.

I think the lifetime ban was outdated, and its good to see that go away (albeit a bit slower than ideal) I have no problem with a one year ban.

To deny that MSM does carry higher risk puts politics infront of facts and endangers the safety of our blood supply.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:10 PM

21. Strawman.

BEHAVIOR, not IDENTITY. It is THAT simple

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:14 PM

23. MSM is a behavior.

 

Infact that is why the term MSM is used.

It doesnt matter if one identfies as straight, bisexual or gay, MSM is a behavior is one puts you in a high risk group.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:18 PM

26. MSM who engages only in oral sex, or even anal with a long term hiv neg partner is not in a high

risk group.

I want to make sure that you understand men have sex with men in many low risk ways, and men and women have sex in high risk ways.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:16 PM

25. MSM who engages only in masturbation is 60 times higher risk than MSW anal sex? No. They aren't.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:31 PM

28. You are creating a sub group

 

Yes, if two guys are just engaging in masterbation the odds of HIV transmission is about as close to 0 as one can get.

And the obvious, but MSM in a committed relationship where both partbers are tested is safer than a random hookup with MSW.

But the categories are designed to be simple to understand without 20 subquestions.

Living in Europe also gets you banned (mad cow)

Norway has had one case, in 2015.

Should we create a subgroup. "You can not donate blood if you lived in Europe for 5 years. Exception. If you lived in Norway prior to 2015 you are ok. Exception. Spain was ok prior to 1998. Exception Helenaki never had any cases, that is ok, but not if you traveled to Denmark while you were there. . . .

I would need a lawyer to figure out who is allowed to donate blood.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #28)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:38 PM

29. MSM is also a subgroup. How about banning anyone who has anal sex, since THAT is the risky

behavior and grouping? Any woman. Any man. Anal sex. And yes, there are a lot of women who do. A larger number of hetero women and men have anal sex than gay men, often with people of uncertain hiv status. More heteros engaging in risky behavior, yet nothing is said about keeping the blood safe by banning them for a year. It's odd.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #29)

Sat Jun 18, 2016, 12:04 PM

30. The vast majority of women with HIV get it from vaginal sex

So that wouldn't work, would it? Women who have sex with a high-risk population (if they know about it) also have a 12 month ban at least. High risk sexual behavior for women is defined as having sex with high-risk partners or partners with unknown risk factors rather than having unprotected sex.

If testing were perfect, we wouldn't have to try to exclude high-risk populations.

Sadly, one's personal risk is less related to one's personal sexual practices, unless those sexual practices are extremely conservative, than the risk of the persons with whom one has sex. If one is having sex with someone and one doesn't know, the safe thing is to assume the other person is high-risk and modify exposure accordingly. But many persons get infected from having sex with long-term partners.

There would literally be no risk of passing HIV through the blood supply through anal sex if we didn't have HIV in the population in the first place!

While some of your suggestions are good, I think, the high rate of self-delusion might not make them work as logically expected.

For instance, several surveys of men in long-term relationships with other men showed a higher rate of HIV infection, rather than lower. This was confounding.

The reason why the population risk predominates in this equation is simple. If you are or have been a sex worker, an illegal drug user, or a person who normally has sex with other persons in a population with a high rate of HIV infection, your personal risk is much higher than the norm.

I know this stuff is dry, but here is a recent article about risk in populations:
http://rollingout.com/2016/05/06/cdc-expert-states-hiv-rate-in-atlanta-as-bad-as-african-countries/

Note that risk varies by locale and subpopulation. The reason it does is not so much a difference in sexual practices (though that certainly changes individual risk), but the degree of infection within the area/subpopulation. If this continues, the screening procedures may have to change. Right now the hope is that PrEP and education will make a big dent:
1) People living in Washington, D.C. (1 in 13), Maryland (1 in 49), Georgia (1 in 51), Florida (1 in 54), Louisiana (1 in 56) and other parts of the region the CDC defines as the South had the highest risk.

2) Men who have sex with men had a 1 in 6 risk while heterosexual men had a 1 in 473 risk.


The main reason that MSM is different than MSW is that, by definition, heterosexual men are sleeping with a population with a much lower average risk. It's not that hets always use condoms. It is true that condomless receptive anal sex with an HIV-infected person carries the highest risk of infection, but men do contract HIV by condomless vaginal sex with infected women. Approximately 1 in 5 MSM are infected with HIV. A relatively low-risk sexual life for a man who has sex with other men carries a much higher risk of infection (in this country) than a relatively low-risk sexual life for a man who has sex with women.

But look at DC. One in thirteen is the calculated lifetime risk ratio. There the rate of infection got high enough that many women in DC have contracted it from their partners, and some women are infecting their partners. So the infection rate in some of the high-risk areas is much higher than average in heterosexuals compared to the US in total.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2016/croi-2016.html#Graphics2

https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/factsheets/cdc-hiv-aa-508.pdf

The impossibility of defining a valid risk filter that would work for the entire population based purely on individual sexual practices should be evident to anyone who knows the stats.

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Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:25 PM

10. All donated blood should be tested.

Everyone should be allowed to donate.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 09:42 PM

11. It is tested

 

Test are not 100% reliable.

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Response to beergood (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 10:20 PM

13. It should be based on an individual's risk factors, what behaviors they engage in.

Not what someone else in a category does, but what they do.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #13)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:12 PM

22. Amazing isn't it?

The fact people are using tropes and misusing facts to support their opinions.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #22)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 11:14 PM

24. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

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