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Prejudice in the bloodbanks and orals ex
Feb 22, 2006

Hi Doc I am from South Africa and they have recently imposed a self-exclusion clause on the blood donation interview form that excludes all men, such as myself, who have had sexual relations with another man within the past 5 yeas. This is apparently based on best practices around the world and is stirring up some fierce debate. Certain gay representative bodies in the country are calling upon men to lie... This I do not agree with. I do realize that in the USA this time period is from some time in the 70's, effectively excluding gay men from donating altogether. My situation, according to this site, does not necessarily warrant testing (unprotected oral once with no ejaculation 4 years and 2 months ago and receptive and insertive oral with no ejaculation on about 4 or 5 other occasions about 5.5 to 7 years ago) however I do not quite make the 5 year requirement. My questions are then: Why has best practices (as claimed by SA blood bank) been set at 5 years? Can the virus not remain undetected and untreated for much longer? or would one have signs of infection in most cases (or at least signs pointing to infection) within 5 years? Is it right (and I guess this is all down to personal opinion and morals) to lie so as not to be a victim of prejudice? Finally, I hope that I am correct in assuming that an HIV test is not clinically needed after my above described exposures? and when they sate "sex with a man in the past 5 years" does this include oral sex? Thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I agree with you that the blood bank practices are discriminatory and make absolutely no sense scientifically. Therefore I can't give a logical rationale for their continued use.

I can't encourage you to lie, but I can encourage you to continue the "fierce debate" and hopefully science and common sense will prevail.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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