A Token Ease on Blood Donation Pisses Off Everyone

Posted: January 17, 2015 in homosexuality, politics, science
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ever since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that became briefly (and still in homophobic circles) known as the “Gay Plague,” the US FDA has banned every homosexual man (who admits it) from donating blood. Period.

This has long been viewed as discriminatory, especially these days when HIV is not a “gay plague” but affects all groups and genders and people of all sexual orientations. It also did not make sense that you could be a hight promiscuous adult prostitute and yet still give blood while gay men who had never had sex could not. As soon as you flip that li’l gay switch, your blood is tainted. Apparently.

And so, unsurprisingly, there has been pushback. Not only from LGBT rights advocates, but by doctors. Finally, it seemed, the FDA was going to lift its ban. And WND was not happy, publishing a full (though unattributed) article on December 24, 2014, entitled, “Blood-Donor Rules Bent by ‘Politics.'”

I find it ironic that “Politics” here is in quotes because politics is the only thing that’s keeping the ban in place.

The policy change, however, has been condemned not just by the far-right, but also by the left: The policy change is such that gay men may donate blood if they have not had intercourse for one full year. Which eliminates most men.

It would eliminate most straight men, too, if that were the policy for straight persons.

Even though HIV can lay dormant for years in a human body.

So, this is a token step in the correct direction, but it’s clearly political.

Meanwhile, the WND article is quite lengthy and ranting about misleading statistics (their statistics they give to bolster their claim are misleading).

If you want to have a sound blood donation policy, you need to look dispassionately at all races, all genders, all social factors, all occupations (i.e., my example about sex workers) and determine who has the highest chances of HIV infection. Then, you look at the screening process for blood and how good it is. Then you look at the statistics for what the chances are, given the screening tests, of any given group having a donation that is both HIV-positive and is missed in screening. And then you set your bans that way.

Just banning gay men for life, or banning gay men who have had sex more recently than a year ago, is just political and unscientific.

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