Blocked from Blood Donation?
Feb 13, 2007
Hi Dr. Bob,
I enjoy reading your forum and I have learned a lot. I am one of the many "worried wells" out there who have asked you questions in the past about possible HIV exposure because of some stupid, irresponsible behavior on my part.
Recently, I became interested in donating some blood to the local blood bank. I was reading the criteria for donation on their web site, and noticed that "men who have had sex with men, even once, should NEVER donate, regardless of HIV status". Now, I'm not gay, but I have had some bi-curious experiences with transexuals. After those experiences, I realized that it just wasn't for me and that the reality wasn't as good as the fantasy (for me, anyway).
I'm kind of shocked to learn that because of three experiences I had in my past, I can never donate blood to this blood bank. I have not tested positive for HIV, nor do I have any other blood-borne illness. What is the rationale behind the rule at this blood bank? Is this something that is practiced by blood banks nationwide?
Response from Dr. Frascino
There is no scientific rational behind this ludicrous policy. Welcome to the world of discrimination based on fear. We are trying to get this archaic and scientifically irrational policy changed. But science, truth and common sense are not valued by our current administration that sets national policy. So bi-curious, HIV-negative guy, welcome to the club of healthy, HIV-negative folks who have had safe man-on-man sex and are now barred from donating blood for life! Don't even get me started on gays in the military or gay marriage!
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