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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Blood donation regulations

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Author Topic: Blood donation regulations
WannabeArtist
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I've recently heard (not sure if this is true) that man who has had sex with another man after some date (1970 something, i believe) is not allowed to donate blood. I'm not too sure of the truth to this...does anyone know more than me? How bout thoughts on this?

If what I've heard is true, no matter how well a man protected himself, no matter how long he has remained celibate, and no matter how often he is tested, once he passed that one magic date, he is forever disqualified form donating blood. On the other hand, a hetero female who has engaged in considerably more risky acts is permitted.

I think the sentiment is probably well placed, however, the restrictions placed seem to be kind of lopsided and borderline discrimintory. Maybe I'm getting upset over something stupid, but it just seems to me that this practice implies that all gay men are destined to acquire AIDS. Seems kind of unfair to me. But at the same time, I know if I was recieving a blood transfusion, I'd want all possible precautions taken, in the hopes that I wouldnt' get anything. Basically I'm torn.

Please pardon the length/rambling-ness of this post, and note my general confusion the subject. Hope I didn't offend anyone.

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"Sometimes I think that sanity is just a passing fad." -The Mystery of Edwin Drood


Posts: 3 | From: New York | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Confused boy
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Blood regulations should be very strict and enforced. I say this because over here our NHS has had big problems with giving out infected blood (not just STDs). However, that regulation really is complete rubbish as it is risking infection from one place while preventing any possibility of a potential good source of blood donation being used. Can't they just do blood tests? Or perhaps they are too expensive to test for everything.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


Posts: 711 | From: England | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lady Moonlight
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I do know that this is one of the many questions I have to answer every time I give blood. In fact, I realized the first time I gave blood after my partner and I had started being sexually intimate that I didn't know enough of his history (sexual and otherwise) to be able to answer many of the questions with any sure knowledge. That was scary, and you can bet we had a long talk soon thereafter. Fortunately we'd been very safe about things, so I wasn't very worried about contracting something that might affect my ability to give blood.

I, for one, am glad that the Red Cross asks all those questions, even if they are extremely personal. If I ever end up in the hospital receiving blood, I want it to be safe.

I'd have to check with the donation center to be sure, but I don't think that answering "yes" to one of the questions about sexual or other history will automatically disqualify a person from giving blood. It might, but more likely it means that they'll tag those bags for more careful testing, or maybe for lab use instead of direct transfusion.

[This message has been edited by Lady Moonlight (edited 08-12-2001).]


Posts: 943 | From: Missouri, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
WannabeArtist
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The following is taken from http://www.youthresource.com/library/ygm2.htm

"Here's the deal ::shrug:: If you've had sex with another guy since 1977 (which I'm well aware, is before most of you were born) then you're currently not eligible to donate blood. Blood bank volunteers screen out every guy who's had sex with another guy regardless of whether or not he's engaged in safer sex, or whether or not he's been tested for HIV."

Don't get me wrong, I definately support extensive personal questions. However, if a man had sex with another man 23 years ago, he's not allowed to donate blood. Just doesn't make sense to me.


Posts: 3 | From: New York | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lemming
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It just seems like, to me, there are so many risk factors that are ignored in the blood screening questions that this one is rubbish. What about, to a female, "Of all the people you've slept with, do you know that none of them have ever slept with a man or slept with a man who slept with a man?" Et cetera.

I suppose the body piercing/tattooing questions have relevance regarding HIV and hepatitis, and so on, but why is it only "within the past year?" And why don't they ask you if you've ever borrowed your roommate's razor, or your boy/girlfriend's toothbrush?

sigh. Blood transfusions will NEVER be completely safe. Testing is the way to go, not questioning - the questions' answers don't tell you enough, anyway, and some people just plain don't know. :P

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com.
"Aiyiyi, I'm your little butterfly/Green, black, and blue make the colors in the sky..." --Smile.DK, "Butterfly"


Posts: 3156 | From: Austin, Texas | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Laughs_Wisely
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I don't know if they do the same thing for every question, but every time I've gotten jabbed, I've had to answer yes to the "Have you ever had Hepatitis/Jaundice/etc." question. They usually ask you a bunch of questions about that, then determine your eligibility...I'm a borderline no, if I didn't know for sure what kind of Hep I had, and the age I had it at.

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*When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. -From "Basic Sex Facts
For Today's Youngfolk" in "Life In Hell'', by (Matt Groening)


Posts: 140 | From: Saskatoon, SK, Canada | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lady Moonlight
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I just called my regional Red Cross blood donation center and talked to one of their nurses. There are actually 2 questions:

"Are you a male who has had sex with another male, even once, since 1977?" and

"Are you a female who, in the last 12 months, has had sex with a male who has had sex with another male, even once, since 1977?"

Both of these are automatic deferments, i.e. somebody who answers "yes" cannot give blood.

However, don't blame the Red Cross or whatever organization is running the blood drive. These standards are set by the FDA.

Justified caution or anti-gay discrimination? Hmmm. Seems excessively cautious (to the point of discrimination) to me.

[This message has been edited by Lady Moonlight (edited 08-13-2001).]


Posts: 943 | From: Missouri, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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Here, I believe testing and questioning are the norm. I assume the two are meant to complement one another.

For example, if a man answers that he has had sex with a man in the past year, then they "know" just to discard the blood. I'm sure they've done research on all of this, and it probably saves them money in the long run. That's to say that discarding the blood from those groups is more beneficial than testing it all, and finding that only X% of the blood is useful to them.

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"...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen"
-Braid


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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