The push to eliminate the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men received a boost yesterday, when 18 senators signaled their support for such a change.
"[H]ealthy blood donors are turned away every day due to an antiquated policy," Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, said in a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
"We live in a very different country than we did in 1983," when gay and bisexual men were permanently "deferred" from giving blood, due to the HIV/AIDS crisis, the letter said....
Quite right, Neil. Basically, the folks who take your blood must presently ask questions which don't make the blood supply safer, and they aren't allowed to ask the questions which *would* make the supply safer.
Dishonesty in answers presently isn't nearly as big an issue as is asking about the most dangerous behavior, asking questions in a way to make it easier to answer truthfully and correctly, and as you said screening blood with much improved protocols.
Unfounded stigma, out-of-date tests, and questions based on things other than proven science and data, are limiting the supply of safe blood.
I know from visits to the Red Cross that prospective blood donors are already asked numerous intrusive questions about their sex life which I assume that most candid homosexuals (and probably many promiscuous heterosexuals) would have to answer in the affirmative. So whether one is a declared homosexual or not is really beside the point. Perhaps this is what was meant below by "common sense."
So the real issue is, are folks being honest, and can the blood be screened sufficiently if they aren't?
Wow. It's pretty obvious from the hysterical and visceral comments below, that people have read neither the the actual data on risk factors, nor the reasons for the suggested questionnaire and procedures overhaul, talked about in the article.
The idea is that, today, the screening protocol *already* allows for demonstrably unacceptable risks. We could raise the level of safety of donations, and simultaneously significantly increase the amount of (safer) blood available, by following some common-sense rules.
Senior Citizens are a population that is at a growing risk for HIV/AIDS. Those who are of the sexual revolution of the sixties, are now hitting their golden years.
[URL=http://aids.about.com/cs/aidsfactsheets/a/seniors.htm]]]Senior Citizens and HIV Over 50[/URL]
In God's plan we are to avoid sexual impropriety, in this God wants to protect us from sin, disease, hurting others, ruining our reputation etc. God asks us not to steal, but asks others not to steal from us. God asks us not to commit adultery, but he asks our spouse not to adulterate our marriage also. God's Word is not to limit us, but to protect us.
The Bible tells us to pray for our enemies and those senators proposing such an insane request to the FDA with NO regard for public health, My prayer is that you or a family member will need to get a blood transfusion that was donated by a homosexual
Now, Senators who are in favor of this ban, if you have the intelligence to be able to read this comment, what say you to my prayer request
All the blood should be set aside for the 18 Senators and their families. I go to India every year and I am not able to give blood because I go out of country. It's a safety precaution. If you live a risky life the rest of us should not have to take the risk of using the blood whether it is my risk of being out of country or their risk of attracting AIDS. God cried out, get in line for brains and politicians thought they said trains and missed out.
My family and I was stationed in Germany during the 80's while I was serving in the U.S. Army. The decade of "mad cow" disease. I tried to donate blood thru Hoxworth blood center. The told me emphatically I was not allowed to give blood.It does not hurt my self-esteem. Anyone that remembers Ryan White will plainly see why this is ludicrous.
"the lifetime ban on MSM blood donations is punitive, unfair and unnecessary."
What?!!? You have got to be kidding? Now everyone has a "right" to give blood!?! We might damage someone's "self-esteem" if we don't let them give blood. How about IV drug users? We're probably hurting their feelings too.
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!