POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

Gay Blood Ban Stays

Posted by pozlife on May 24, 2007


by The Associated Press

Posted: May 23, 2007 – 3:00 pm ET 

(Washington) 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.

Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com


2 Responses to “Gay Blood Ban Stays”

  1. PJ said

    I understand many think this is right, however as an HIV Instructor for the Red Cross, even if you draw blood right now, that won’t show what’s happening in your blood in one minute. When blood is drawn from the body, all replication stops immediately. If you haven’t drawn an HIV infected cell, you won’t know it’s there. It may show up in one more second or minute or hour.

    Why can’t HIV positive people donate for HIV positive people who will need blood? This allows everyone to donate and will hopefully keep people from lying about their HIV status or sexual preference. Something to think about!

  2. BA said

    Uh…okay so this ban on gay folks is just another demostration of ignorrance on this nations part. To ASSUME…and that is just what it is an assumption, that just because I’m gay, I must be HIV positive. I not only find it offensive, but it’s also inaccurate. Because it not only attempts to violate my self worth, but it makes the assumption that I’m gay, filthy, and I MUST NEVER USE A CONDOM. If you’re looking to ban people who are at high risk, then you’re going to not only have to stop at gays, but african americans, and Latinos as well. OH…you would not DARE to that…I’d love to see that ban published!!! See the difference is that gay people don’t give a damn if they are told they cannot do something because they are gay…they will just do it anyway, and lie about their sexual orientation….assuming they find a cause worthy enough to deny their truth….but I digress. If you tell someone that they cannot donate blood because their RACE has statisticly made them a high risk, you would have riots in the street. Plain and Simple. I think not only is this absurd, but it’s just backwooded, close minded, and exactly what I would expect of a supposedly enlightened and cultured america. That is fine though, because I seriously doubt I’d give a hetrosexual my blood anyway….’would not want to make him gay….now would I?’ Typical, just pathetic and typical.

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