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re: Why are blood donation requirements so stringent?
Jan 26, 2010

1) Why is it so important to you? If I'm about to fall off a cliff, you reach out to me, and I bat your hand away; are you going to jump after me? The fact that you are willing to donate of yourself speaks highly of you. The fact that you are upfront and honest about a "disqualifying event" that happened decades ago speaks even more highly of you. Not many heterosexual men would freely admit to having had gay sex, ever. Your insistance/taking offense raises a red flag (the red cross is not for the donor.) The "rules" have to be stringent because sometimes rules get stretched and/or misinterpreted. It has to be "yes or no" because the person with the needle is not necessarily qualified to deal with "maybe." Do the rules make any sense? No... gay sex is far and away not the statistical top means of viral transmission. In fact, as gay sex usually includes a barrier, it is safer for me to receive blood from a gay man than from my girlfriends*.

2) The USA has become the USSR (United States of Silly Rules). eg If I were to be convicted of draft evasion, I would never be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, including by conscription (Clinton, Biden, and Cheney had "student deferments," Quayle and Bush joined the Guard instead - ie not evasion, not convicted, but not drafted either). "...of Silly Rules."

3)* One of my girlfriends seroconverted after receiving a transfusion back before those rules were there.

4) This is the stupidity of it all: I could have UNSAFE sex with her, and donate blood on the spot per the donation questionaire where I go to donate (I am HIV negative, hetero, drug free, and have never been convicted of a felony). But if I were to have had "SAFE sex" with a guy once upon a time, or were I jailed in solitary confinement for years, I could not. But before those "stringent" requirements existed... *

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Thanks for your comments to the questioner below. I agree the blood donation restrictions fail both the common sense test as well as scientific rationale criteria!

Dr. Bob

Why are blood donation requirements so stringent? Jan 25, 2010

Why are the requirements to give blood so stringent? Like one incident of gay sex 30 years ago is enough to rule you out, even after testing negative to HIV?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Excellent question for which there is no scientific (or even logical) answer! Check out the information in the chapter on blood donation in the archives of this forum.

Dr. Bob



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