|The Issue of Blood donation!!!! (BLOOD DONATION)
Feb 9, 2008
Hi Dr. Bob,
I don`t understand why they do not allow gay men to donate blood. I mean isn`t there just as much chance that a straight person has HIV. And how does the donation process work anyhow?? After blood is donated they can;t use it right away can they? I mean isn`t there a chance that a person may have contracted the virus a few weeks before donating and it would not show up in the screening process. I mean I am a straight female, married with children and I am not involved in any activity that could make me contract the virus, however I could go to the dentist,or doctor for blood tests and as much as we have to trust that they use clean needles and instruments etc, there is a chance that they don`t and someone could contract the virus. So shouldn't the blood be kept somewhere for 3 months anyway and get tested before it is given to someone??
| Response from Dr. Frascino
I've written about this unwarranted and unjustifiable policy many times over the years. (Check the archives.) There is absolutely no medical or scientific rational to justify it. Once our science-phobic, common-sense challenged current inhabitant of the White House leaves office, this and other immoral unscientific policies will be abolished. Other countries have lifted similar bans quite some time ago. Costa Rica is the most recent. See below.
Costa Rica Lifts Ban on Gay Blood Feb 9, 2008
Costa Rica Lifts Ban on Gay Blood Donations August 13, 2007 by Dylan Vox
Los Angeles, CA - The United States is still under the antiquated rule that gay men are not allowed to donate blood because of the risk of spreading infectious disease. This month, Costa Rica showed that they might be a few steps ahead of us as President Oscar Arias signed an executive order to lift their ban.
Earlier this year, despite a recommendation from the American Red Cross and other blood sources, the FDA refused to lift the American ban on blood donations from gay people. The Red Cross has criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted," but the US Government felt that the risk of introducing HIV and AIDS into the blood supply was still too much of a risk to recall the lifetime ban.
Activist Alberto Cabezas, who led the drive to lift the ban in Costa Rica, saw his work come to fruition this month when Arias signed the order which would again allow gays to donate blood. Cabezas said that the action proved that the government "sees gays as humans [who] have the same rights" as others.
Since the first out break of HIV in the 70's, many countries have banned blood donations from men who have had sex with other men. Even though any group is at risk, and in some cases more at risk than homosexuals, the ban on gays has become commonplace. Gay rights groups have fought to lift the US ban stating that the practice was discriminatory.
Gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell explained that the ban on gay blood donors "is based on the assumption that all homosexual and bisexual men are 'high risk' for HIV," and that the "policy seems to reflect homophobic prejudices, not medical facts."
The hope is that Costa Rica will set a precedent for other countries to follow.
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Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks! Unfortunately there is not much hope the U.S. will follow suit until King George the "W" ends his Reign of Error.
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