Author Topic: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors  (Read 1122 times)

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Offline Shim

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FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« on: December 23, 2014, 05:03:55 pm »
Warning, let's keep the tone family friendly and not get too detailed. Otherwise, I'll move it to the adult boards.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/24/health/fda-lifting-ban-on-gay-blood-donors.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1409232722000&bicmet=1419773522000&abt=0002&abg=1

Last year, there was a blood drive going on at my school and I couldn't participate because I'd had sexual contact with another male since something like the early 70s.

According to this article, nothing has changed.

Offline Keitsu

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 06:48:30 pm »
They still have those same policies over here in Australia as well.

Offline greenfox

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 10:48:44 pm »
Well, this article at least suggests some signs of progress toward a fairer system.  It doesn't seem like large government agencies (such as the FDA) are good at making sweeping changes fast, so a reduction of the old "lifetime ban" to a "12 month ban" might actually represent fair progress in that context...
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Offline Turgius

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 09:30:01 pm »
Baby steps towards progress is still progress, and when it comes to progress government agencies move at such a pace. This seems to mirror other time constraints, due to medications I'm on: I personally can't give blood without discontinuing treatment for 12 months.
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Offline Purrrl

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2014, 06:28:13 pm »
This still, of course, excludes the vast majority of would-be gay donors...


I mean, you'd have to be seriously determined to give blood :|

But I guess progress is still progress.

Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2014, 10:02:14 am »
Yeah it isn't even finalized or in effect yet, is it?

Warning: what I say below is not likely to be what most people want to hear. Sorry in advance.


But, to be honest, I don't necessarily think a full stop to the ban is in order. I know that will win me very few friends, but I feel a deferral period is understandable and warranted. We also don't allow other high risk groups to just donate without deferrals - drug users, sex workers, even people that merely have sex with individuals from certain very high AIDS afflicted countries are barred (for life, in some of those cases) from donating. And, since testing is still iffy until a few months after contact, I feel a deferral is not a bad idea.

If there were a way to say "hey, if you are purely, truly monogamous, and your partner is without a doubt purely, truly monogamous to you, and both of you are tested and both of you are negative, and both of you are otherwise in low-risk groups, then sure!" then I would be happy to say do away completely with the ban and deferral. But, lets face it, that isn't the case. (It isn't even, really, the case with "straight" people either, but since straight sex carries a lower risk, overall, then that is also a reason not to be quite as strict.) And gay/bi individuals do, sadly, have a tendency to be a bit more open than our straight counterparts [I didn't say all, I am not being overly general, I am merely saying an increase - however slight it may be overall and in truth].

I honestly would suggest a three month deferral or so, rather than the likely-to-be-approved-here 1 year. I think 1 year is a bit silly, given our current testing accuracies at much shorter times.


Granted...I would love to donate, since I know I am negative, am purely monogamous, and low-risk to boot. BUT I couldn't donate even if the deferral was dropped to a few months - because, admittedly, I am not giving up my sex life that long just to donate blood. Sorry.
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Offline Shim

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 06:01:16 pm »
Granted...I would love to donate, since I know I am negative, am purely monogamous, and low-risk to boot. BUT I couldn't donate even if the deferral was dropped to a few months - because, admittedly, I am not giving up my sex life that long just to donate blood. Sorry.

This.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if it was a month or two, being in a long distance relationship and all that, but if I weren't?

Offline Fenny the Fox

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 06:21:53 pm »
This.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if it was a month or two, being in a long distance relationship and all that, but if I weren't?

Yeah, and that would be reasonable. But since I am only a couple hundred miles (three and a half hours or so) from my mate, we generally see each other every few weeks, at worst every month. So that would be too short for it to apply to me. Which would be okay, I guess, since at least I know a lot of people that would be willing and able to donate at that point.

I would love to see, in the following years, hopefully, it get parred down to that, if not a lesser, deferral. Or just combine a better (albeit obviously more invasive) questionnaire to screen more accurately with better on the spot speed testing. Which, come to think of it, would also provide a needed function of free, quick -and overall fairly low cost to the organization- means of HIV testing for many gay men.
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Offline Plantan

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Re: FDA to "lift ban" on Gay blood donors
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2014, 12:36:26 am »
At least it's progress...but I personally can't donate blood for a few reasons... I have anemia (which is an iron deficiency in the blood), and mine is so severe that my blood is a different color... My family (on both sides) is at high risk for heart disease and diabetes... and I have an extreme fear of needles and things of that nature... but I'm so glad that more people are going to be able to donate to help others :3
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