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Britain: Gay Men Allowed to Donate Blood

Britain: Gay Men Allowed to Donate Blood

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Old Sep 13, 11, 1:42 pm
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Britain: Gay Men Allowed to Donate Blood

Saw this in last Friday's New York Times:

British health officials said Thursday that they would lift a ban on gay men donating blood, as long as their last sexual contact with another man was more than a year earlier.
Full Article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/wo...onation&st=cse

It would be nice if the US adopted a similar procedure.
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Old Sep 13, 11, 2:29 pm
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Interesting read...

Should be 12 months of non sexual contact for all donors... But that would just be too equal...

I remember being absolutely furious when they refused me as a donor when they came to our office a few years ago looking for people to donate... I still will not donate till it is equal, despite knowing how much good blood donation does for the greater health service.
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Old Sep 13, 11, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by BingBongBoy View Post
Interesting read...

Should be 12 months of non sexual contact for all donors... But that would just be too equal...

I remember being absolutely furious when they refused me as a donor when they came to our office a few years ago looking for people to donate... I still will not donate till it is equal, despite knowing how much good blood donation does for the greater health service.
I have no problems at all donating blood if they would accept it from gay men. I am negative, and always safe, and don't feel I am at any more of a risk than a hetrosexual. I get upset when I turn on the news or read a news story and hear about the red cross whining about being critically low on blood.
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Old Sep 14, 11, 6:59 am
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I'm absolutely with BBB here - this is still discrimination, although the National Blood Service has managed to get loads of positive publicity about "lifting the ban". People who have unprotected heterosexual sex are at risk of HIV too, yet they'd never think of saying that you couldn't give blood if you'd had straight sex within the last year.

A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
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Old Sep 14, 11, 7:13 am
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I actually agree that this is still very discriminatory.

I was one who donated blood every two months started when I was 18 in college.

I finally decided that I was no longer going to "lie" on the Red Cross questionnaire just to give blood... even though I knew my blood was totally safe.

So, the UK will now accept our blood as long as we are not "practicing" gays... THANKS... but no thanks!
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Old Sep 14, 11, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by Morland View Post
I'm absolutely with BBB here - this is still discrimination, although the National Blood Service has managed to get loads of positive publicity about "lifting the ban". People who have unprotected heterosexual sex are at risk of HIV too, yet they'd never think of saying that you couldn't give blood if you'd had straight sex within the last year.

A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
The smart thing would be to defer ANYONE that has had unprotected sex in the past 12 months. It's absurd that a gay person who is in an exclusive relationship (or even who isn't who always practices safe sex and is NEG) can't donate yet a hetrosexual who could be having unprotected sex a couple times a week with multiple partners isn't even asked that question and can give (as long as they aren't paying for it).

The question about having sex with a male before 197X needs to be eliminated and there needs to be a question asking if you have had any unprotected sex in the last 12 months. Even if someone is married and having unprotected sex there is a possiblity they or their spouse isn't being faithful
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Old Sep 15, 11, 11:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Morland View Post
People who have unprotected heterosexual sex are at risk of HIV too, yet they'd never think of saying that you couldn't give blood if you'd had straight sex within the last year.
They sure do if you have had sex with a prostitute, someone that used to be a prostitute or in my case, turned down for having sex with a Brazilian.
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Old Sep 16, 11, 7:16 am
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Originally Posted by JohnnyColombia View Post
They sure do if you have had sex with a prostitute, someone that used to be a prostitute or in my case, turned down for having sex with a Brazilian.
Yes, but it's a concern only if you pay for it or get paid for it (and they don't care if it's protected or not).

Apparently having protected sex with a prostitute (which I agree increases your risk for HIV) is considered more risky than having unprotected sex for free.
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Old Sep 16, 11, 7:18 am
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I agree. I am debating the morality of pressing for my firm to discontinue co-operating with onsite blood donor sessions.
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Old Sep 16, 11, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by hsmall View Post
I agree. I am debating the morality of pressing for my firm to discontinue co-operating with onsite blood donor sessions.
Our firm will match employee contributions to a lot of charities, but we won't match to charities that discriminate. One of these charities is the boy scouts. The church I go to also refuses to let them use our facilities due to their policies.

My church allows the blood cross to use our facilities for a blood drive every year and the red cross also has an interfaith blood drive where churches compete to see who can give the most blood and some of hetrosexual members donate blood during that. It was brought up last year at a board meeting by a gay member that they didn't want the red cross using our facilities for the blood drive any longer due to the discrimination. I found out from that meeting that the red cross isn't the one who has that policy but it's an FDA policy the red cross has to follow.

Not sure how the policies are set in the UK though. As much as it P*sses me off gay men can't donate, I was glad to see our church allowed the use of our building and still encourages people that are eligible to donate to donate. There is a continual blood shortage (which could be eased if gay men wouldn't be banned), and I would hate to think that a loved one wouldn't have an adequate blood supply avialable if they needed blood due to a medical emergency.
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Old Sep 16, 11, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Yes, but it's a concern only if you pay for it or get paid for it (and they don't care if it's protected or not).

Apparently having protected sex with a prostitute (which I agree increases your risk for HIV) is considered more risky than having unprotected sex for free.
That is also inaccurate. The UK blood transfusion service seems to not like you having sex for free with certain nationalities, protected or otherwise.

They also ask you inane question such as "Have you ever had sex with someone that used to be a prostitute/used to be an intravenous drug user?"

Whilst having sex with ex prostitute/intravenous drug users may increase the risk of the transmission of HIV, how could you possibly know the answer to that question save for having a questionnaire on your night stand?

Hi I am Johnny, do you come here often sweetheart? Hi Johnny, I am Cynthia, an ex prostitute.

I signed a Downing St petition requesting that homosexual males be allowed to donate blood about 3 or 4 weeks ago, surprised that there has been a policy change already.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 5:19 am
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I remember doing a temp job a few years ago and the blood bus came. When asked if I wanted to donate, I said that I was against blood donation and all the other workers were horrified of course. So when I told them why, no one had any idea of the ban. And nothing will ever change if no one knows about it.

Oh, and I personally find the new 12-month stipulation ridiculous but I'll continue to offer to give blood just to hear people tell me that actually they don't want my blood.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by Karter View Post
I remember doing a temp job a few years ago and the blood bus came. When asked if I wanted to donate, I said that I was against blood donation and all the other workers were horrified of course. So when I told them why, no one had any idea of the ban. And nothing will ever change if no one knows about it.

Oh, and I personally find the new 12-month stipulation ridiculous but I'll continue to offer to give blood just to hear people tell me that actually they don't want my blood.
I think you are right. I find it deeply offensive that there is still no equality in this.
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Old Sep 20, 11, 1:36 am
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Originally Posted by hsmall View Post
I think you are right. I find it deeply offensive that there is still no equality in this.
I agree entirely.
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