Journalist Andre Picard offers his two cents on his nation’s ongoing gay blood donor debate. As in the States, Canadian officials continue to prohibit homo men from contributing to the blood bank. Picard does not approve:
Giving blood is not a right.
The overriding responsibility of blood collection and distribution agencies is not to ensure all Canadians are allowed to join in this altruistic act, but to ensure the safety of blood and blood products for recipients.
At the same time, these agencies must strive to ensure there is an adequate supply of blood, which saves the lives of thousands upon thousands of people each year.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
So it is OK to take blood from Elliot Spitzer–a straight man who routinely screws hookers–but no from 2 gay men who have been married or in a relationship for 10, 20, 30 years or more.
The fact is “safe blood” is an illusion built on discrimination. THAT is the POINT.
STOP YOU LYING!
Also, what you are saying is blood testing hasn’t improved since the 1980s?? How fucked up is that?????????
I am a gay man and I’m a nurse (RN variety). I agree with the prohibition on gay people donating blood. Elliot Spitzer should be allowed to donate blood because straight sex is less likely to transmit viruses than gay sex. In addition, the incubation period for HIV can be up to six months; which means that it might be six months before the body produces detectable antibodies and all the while that person can pass the virus to sex partners and to others via blood donation.
One of the first tools used to find HIV was to look for Hepatitis B markers in the blood of people who had symptoms of HIV infection. Because HIV and Hep B are transmitted the same way they both can be transmitted via sex or blood transfusion.
Here is a proposal: Allow gay men to donate blood if they have been in a monogamous relationship for one year or if not in a monogamous relationship they would have to be abstinent for one year.
Yes, the testing has improved dramatically and any blood sample that tests positive is tested again by a method that looks for HIV RNA instead of antibodies. It is still not 100% accurate. No test is 100% accurate.
I have been in a monogamous relationship for over three years and when the rules change I will donate blood. I used to before I had my first sexual experience. I would love to again. I think however the safety of the blood supply comes first.
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