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Blood Donation and the Gays


diego

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Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
17
As most of you know, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board does not permit people to doante blood in the following circumstances:

Never give blood if:

You have received a blood transfusion (other than an autologous transfusion) in the Republic of Ireland on or after the 1st January 1980

You received a blood transfusion (other than an autologous transfusion) outside the Republic of Ireland at anytime

You have spent 1 year or more, in total, in the UK in the years 1980 to 1996

You are a male who has ever had anal or oral sex with another male, even if a condom or other form of protection was used

You have ever used a needle to take unprescribed drugs, this includes body building drugs

You or your partner is HIV positive

You have had jaundice of uncertain cause after the age of 13 years

You have had hepatitis B or C


Link: http://www.ibts.ie/generic.cfm?mID=2&sID=79

All of these are quite understandable, except the one highlighted. Do people think this is fair and just? If people wish to reply, I'd prefer that we do it on the understanding that I'm not posting this to become a rant about how I'm deeply offended by not having automatic equality - I do believe that if a certain minority do pose a legitimate risk then of course measures should be taken to protect the rest of the population. Worse however would be for the debate to become a homophobic silly-season. That being said, I do think this ban is not justifiable, and wonder if there may be an unthinking degree of homophobia behind it.... thoughts???
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
Messages
12,847
Indeed. If people have only ever had protected sex, than how exactly would it be possible for them to have contracted HIV? However, they could be worried about other std's that can be transmitted from kissing in extreme circumstances, but still, that would have been stipulated.

Does all blood not undergo rigourous testing after being extracted anyway?
 

diego

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Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
17
Riadach said:
Indeed. If people have only ever had protected sex, than how exactly would it be possible for them to have contracted HIV. However, they could be worried about other std's that can be transmitted from kissing in extreme circumstances.
But why ban the gays then? The vast majority of new HIV infections are in heterosexuals..
 

seanad voter

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Jun 25, 2007
Messages
2,262
Is there any way I can ensure I'm never given DUP blood ?
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
82
I don't think that when this rule was created that it was explicitly homophobic as the AIDS epidemic did appear to be the 'gay plague'.

However now, with adequate sex education there is no reason why safe gay sex should be any more conducive to STI than heterosexual sex.

Regardless, all donated blood is now tested for HIV/AIDS and it would now appear that at a time when blood donor services are crying out for donors they are forcing a blanket ban on any man who has had sex with another man and that is discrimintation.
 

Badboy

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Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
34
Look the purpose of giving blood is to help other people.

Getting upset because of percieved discrimination does not help car crash victims or premature babies.

Do you think that if that restriction was dropped, the empirical evidence proves that there would be a greater supply of useable blood?
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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It doesn't even proscribe heterosexual people who have had unprotected sex. I would love for them to one day explain their rationale.

Why they single out homosexual males is probably due to the infection rate being twice as high among us than it is among heterosexuals. I believe 1 in every 500 gay men have HIV, whereas it is 1 in every 1000 among heterosexuals.

But I would have presumed that this would be considered irrelevant.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
82
Badboy said:
Look the purpose of giving blood is to help other people.

Getting upset because of percieved discrimination does not help car crash victims or premature babies.

Do you think that if that restriction was dropped, the empirical evidence proves that there would be a greater supply of useable blood?
What doesn't help car crash victims or premature babies is when their potential donors are refused the opportunity to help because they're a bummer
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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12,847
Badboy said:
Look the purpose of giving blood is to help other people.

Getting upset because of percieved discrimination does not help car crash victims or premature babies.

Do you think that if that restriction was dropped, the empirical evidence proves that there would be a greater supply of useable blood?
But I have a social conscience. Recently I got tested, as all people should, and found blood just shot out of me. I then thought to myself, wow I should donate blood then given that it is so easy, but was sadly reminded that given I was a gay man I couldn't. Frequently they have blood banks set up around college, and I have been tempted to go in and just lie, just to make a charitable contribution. Why should I not be allowed to make a difference to someone's life?
 

NeilW

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Dec 31, 2005
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4,634
diego said:
All of these are quite understandable, except the one highlighted.
Even the one about having spent a year or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996?!
 

CookieMonster

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Feb 19, 2005
Messages
34,801
NeilW said:
diego said:
All of these are quite understandable, except the one highlighted.
Even the one about having spent a year or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996?!
You might have cought a dose of protestant.
 

Inishowen

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Oct 5, 2006
Messages
70
All of the above restrictions impact on some group in society. The one probably most affected are those who lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 - considering our history of emigration i'd bet theres a lot more returned emigrants than gays debarred here. Someone above did acknowledge that the rate of infection is twice as high among homosexuals as hetrosexuals so that explains that. It may be a 'belt and braces' approach but if it maintains the integrity of the blood supply then so be it. The one i find most difficulty with is that if I go in to Derry and give blood there (which I could do on any week of the year) i am barred from giving blood here in Inishowen where the vampire van only comes every six months and the last time they were here i had a bad cold so couldnt donate.
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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12,847
It doesn't really inishowen. Heterosexuals have half the rate of infection, but they're allowed give blood even if they've had unprotected sex, homosexuals aren't allowed, even if they've only had protected sex. There is a massive disparity there.
 

seanad voter

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Jun 25, 2007
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Do they accept Donegal blood in Derry, Inishowen ?

My, how standards have dropped !
 

Riadach

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And the rates of infection don't show everything. There is a strong culture of testing among homosexuals which is non-existant amongst heterosexuals. It is estimated that up to 50% of hiv infections are in individuals who are unaware that they are infected. This could even off the rate of infection between homosexuals and heterosexuals, given that homosexuals are more likely to know than heterosexuals are. How many straight people do you know have had a HIV test?
 

Munion

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Aug 17, 2006
Messages
319
What does the IBTS have to offer in the way of an explaination?
 

stretchneil

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
39
The new HIV/AIDS test (to which all blood donations are subjected) gives accurate results if infection is present 3 days or more (though the rule of thumb is to give a week, just to be sure).

Therefore, there should be a ban on anyone donating blood who has had unprotected sex in the previous fortnight. This should apply to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. The current policy is daft, and shuts out a large group of potential donors needlessly.

The UK rule is because of vCJD, which is much, much more difficult to detect.
 

Inishowen

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Oct 5, 2006
Messages
70
seanad voter said:
Do they accept Donegal blood in Derry, Inishowen ?

My, how standards have dropped !
Is there any such thing as a derryman without Inishowen blood? :lol:
 

Riadach

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Feb 9, 2007
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Don't think they ever have.
 

seanad voter

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Jun 25, 2007
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Inishowen said:
seanad voter said:
Do they accept Donegal blood in Derry, Inishowen ?

My, how standards have dropped !
Is there any such thing as a derryman without Inishowen blood? :lol:
Touché ! Going back generations on my mother's side (Moville).
 
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