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Old 05-23-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Blood Donor Discrimination

Ban kept for gay men donating blood

Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place for now a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."

"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation's blood supply.

Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.

In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America's Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.

In a document posted Wednesday, the FDA said it would change its policy if given data that show doing so wouldn't pose a "significant and preventable" risk to blood recipients.

"It is a way of saying, 'Whatever was presented to us was not sufficient to make us change our minds,'" Bianco said.

The FDA said HIV tests currently in use are highly accurate, but still cannot detect the virus 100 percent of the time. The estimated HIV risk from a unit of blood is currently about one per 2 million in the United States, according to the agency.

Critics of the exclusionary policy said it bars potential healthy donors, despite the increasing need for donated blood, and discriminates against gays. The FDA recognized the policy defers many healthy donors but rejected the suggestion it's discriminatory.

Anyone who's used intravenous drugs or been paid for sex also is permanently barred from donating blood.

___

On the Net:

FDA Q-and-A about its policy on blood donations from gay men: http://www.fda.gov/cber/faq/msmdonor.htm

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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I think that the FDA is doing everything necessary they can to keep our blood supply safe. I don't know why promiscuous heterosexuals are allowed to give, that doesn't seem safe either. Unfortunatley there is no test that detects HIV 100% at the time of donation. I don't see that the FDA has any other choice in the matter. Please don't think I'm being homophobic I have a gay brother and gay friends that I think would agree with me. Would you want blood from a drug user or a prostitute? I think not and that could be considered discrimination as well.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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I give blood four times a year and they ask you a bunch of questions each time but anybody could lie on that test. They do take it through a screening anyway but I for one do not want them change the law on this. They are always crying they need more blood but when I get there at Life Share it is only the rare types. I am type A+ so that is common. I say give blood and let the ones that can not just pass and keep the supply clean as we can
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:00 PM   #4
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Why would anyone lie on the questionnaire?

I'm B- so the day after I'm eligible to donate again they start calling my house and my office begging for more. It's actually fairly annoying and kind of turns me off to them.
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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Also, don't treat the word "discrimination" like we should all assume it's a bad thing. When practiced in modern society discrimination is almost always a good thing.
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Old 05-23-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
Why would anyone lie on the questionnaire?

I'm B- so the day after I'm eligible to donate again they start calling my house and my office begging for more. It's actually fairly annoying and kind of turns me off to them.
I vant your blood!!

LOL, well look on the bright side, your blood is in high demand. You can always sell you blood for food or crack, should the Cyberspace Command Headquarters gig fall through! (ducking)
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