Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Protests Against Homosexual Donation Ban

There have been protests in Canada by students over the possibility of discrimination of homosexual men through their being banned from blood donation. To be honest their notion of discrimination is not unjustified. Especially if the wording only seems to ban homosexual men because of anal sex, while others would not be questioned.
The wording is important. All anal sex comes under the category of high risk behaviour along with IV drug use and participating in unsafe sex of any kind. All these activities would put you at risk of catching HIV, hepatitis, etc. If I remember right (and it has been some time since I was able to give blood) the wording on the form went along the lines of anyone who has had anal sex. No time specification.
However the FDA's policy also excludes the IV drug abusers, those who have received transplants and people who have lived in the UK (because of our vCJD). An outright ban on male homosexual donations is not all together discriminatory, certainly in this case because they are not the only at risk group. Even with the changes in HIV testing, for the safety of patients, high risk donors should be excluded. Yes I migrated from Canada to talking about USA's policies because the ban was considered for lifting in 2000. Subsequently it was not lifted due to there still being some considerable risk even with the changes and greater accuracy in HIV testing.
Which is why for the moment I cannot see the policy changing in the USA, UK or Canada. No matter if it does look like discrimination. Blood transfusions are risky enough without adding to it.
Information also found on:
Slap Upside The Head
Pink News
BMJ Article about the FDA ban (2000)
FDA Policy from the horse's mouth

No comments:

Post a Comment


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog