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Gay Men Ban From Donating Blood Upheld!

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayPolitikLGBT


This is very disappointing and upsetting.

The Federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability voted 9 to 6 against lifting the ban on gays to donate blood on Friday.

The archaic ruling dictates that any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, even once, is ineligible to donate blood. The ban was instituted in the early 1980s, when concerns about HIV-positive blood were at their highest and there were no tests to identify the disease from donated blood.

However, the year is 2010, we have all the resources to safely test HIV tainted blood supplies, and yet the committee recommended keeping the policy, calling it a precaution.

Just to put this in perspective for a minute: one report found that 219,000 more pints of blood could be available each year if the FDA lifted the ban. Think of the amount of lives that could be saved with those kinds of resources!

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force cited this figure in its response to the decision, as well as saying:

"The committee's decision today not only leaves a discriminatory practice in place, it also puts lives at risk."

The American Red Cross also expressed their disappointment about the decision, stating that "while the Red Cross is obligated by law to follow the guidelines set forth by the FDA, we also strongly support the use of rational, scientifically-based deferral periods that are applied fairly and consistently among donors who engage in similar risk activities."

We would have thought that we, as a nation, had become more open-minded than this. It's sad to hear that we are wrong.

[Image via AP Images.]

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154 comments to “Gay Men Ban From Donating Blood Upheld!”

More comments: [1] 2 »

  1. 1

    Well I guess they don't want blood that bad. This is just sad.

  2. 2

    absolutely ridiculous.

  3. 3

    This seems a little archaic. All blood is tested for HIV anyway so its not like they incur an added expense right?

  4. 4

    this is just sad and wrong!

  5. 5

    You can call it discrimination, but they are exercising caution, and I support them and defer to the medical experts.

  6. 6

    Mario, this isn't fucked up. I support gays getting married but am glad that the Red Cross is sticking to this policy. I might catch some heat for this statement but some friends and I were discussing how MJ (supposedly) spoke to a top doctor in the 80's to see if he could catch AIDS from being in a jacuzzi with Ryan White. He was told he couldn't and I'm guessing that MJ had a hot tub with Ryan (I'm not trying to be funny here) but I said to my friends that even in 2010, if I knew someone had AIDS, I wouldn't get in the jacuzzi with them. I know it's fucked up to say but crazy shit happens. I remember Kimberly Bergalis. She got AIDS from her dentist. How the hell did that happen? I don't know but Ms. Bergalis is long dead.

  7. 7

    I feel safer already!!
    and it's not just men douche bag
    and there's a real good reason for the law!!

  8. 8

    Gotta say- I don't want any chances taken when it comes to tainted blood! Not sure anyone does…

  9. 9

    blood isnt accepted with people with tattoos either. they're just safety issues. get over it.

  10. 10

    We definitely need to save more "lies". LOLzzzzzzzz

  11. 11

    That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Heterosexual people get HIV as well! How retarded can you get.

  12. 12

    Good, Keep the gays away

  13. 13

    It is there for a reason Perez. Do you not understand why?? It's kind of like how you can't give blood if you have recently had a tattoo.

  14. 14

    Re: CumpasFilms – That's…wrong. You can't give blood within something like 6 months after you've had a tattoo, but you're free to afterwards.

  15. 15

    Well it isn't that surprising. People wouldn't want to catch the gay gene and become gay. Oooh scary thought there!

  16. 16

    Makes me feel so much safer I might go out and drive recklessly as soon as I hit submit. The gay man blood doesnt worry me so much but I know I will never be given any of Mario's evil hate blood

  17. 17

    Unfortunately this country keeps moving backwards in terms of health and politics. People are determined to keep us in the 1800s.

  18. 18

    Thank you Red Cross. Until they feel confident, I'll stick with them. Once they give the OK, I'll agree. That is what my tax dollars are for.

  19. 19

    Re: CumpasFilms – There's a waiting period you have to go through before you can donate after getting a tatt. Otherwise no one would be able to donate. So many people have tatts and can. The local Red Cross chapter here did a special event for women with tatts who could donate.

  20. 20

    I do like that they are taking precaution however If they test the blood for AIDS/HIV anyways whats does it matter if someone is gay or not..they should have just said they are going to test ppl for HIV before they can donate the blood so they don't waste time..now this is going to get blown up and ppl are going to get offended. They really went about this the wrong way by singling out gays..idiots.

  21. 21

    I can see why they are afraid of taking blood from people engaging in gay sex, but heteros can be reckless too. There are bunch of strait people having unprotected sex out there.

  22. 22

    so how would they know or not if they denied they had sex?
    do they do a background check?
    what about lesbians? are they okay?
    and bisexuals men/women?

  23. 23

    if you knew anything about aids, you would understand that it takes UP TO 6 MONTHS to be able to correctly detect HIV - and yes, gay men still have the highest rate of AIDS. so its not "archaic" or "ridiculous"

  24. 24

    unfortunately, there is a very small period where the virus is not able to be detected, when the person is first infected. If the person donates at this time, there is a slight chance the virus will be passed on. There was something in the news a few years ago where someone was infected with the virus, but it was not detected yet, and this person died in an accident and was an organ transplant donor. I don't remember how many organs were transplanted, but it was alot and EVERYONE BECAME HIV POSITIVE. I worked with Hemophilliacs n the late '80s in NYC and a large % were infected with the virus. Their medication, called FACTOR was an anticoagulative that was drawn from large batches of BLOOD. The gay community was ALWAYS GREAT AT DONATING. They did not know they were infected with anything in the early 80s and the Factor was made with their blood. Even when hemophilliacs started becoming sick with AIDS, and Drs. realized that the Blood was doing it, They still had to take it. It was Bleed to death NOW or take the chance of acquiring the disease. (they quickly found out that once the factor was HEATED, the virus was destroyed). The CDC compiled statistics that homosexual men, iv drug abusers were the highest risks for hiv/aids and put them down as forbidden to donate blood. I can see where you think it is racist, biased Perez, and gay man are using an untapped population. But think of the consequences.

  25. 25

    that only makes me believe they don't test all the blood. if that's true, it wouldn't come as a surprise to me.

  26. 26

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver – It's the FDA that controls the guidelines for blood banking, not the Red Cross - just so people are clear on where these rules originate. I'm sure the Red Cross would be thrilled to have a larger supply of blood available to those in need.

  27. 27

    The problem is that there are types of the HIV virus that are unique. They don't always show up on tests. This is another level of protection and not lack of open mindedness. Remember nothing tastes as good as being healthy, right Perez?

  28. 28

    all you need is some gay man to LIE about having unprotected sex (AND THAT IS RISING) and the virus is not detected yet. THAT WILL CAST A PALLOR AGAINST ALL GAY MEN. I worked with people who got the disease because they had another medical condition, and I would monthly cross off a name or two because they died of AIDS. Adults and children, and also their wives who they infected. The Federal advisory board MIGHT be over cautious, but, they don't want something like that to happen again. The test can not pick up the virus when it is first infecting someone

  29. 29

    Re: CumpasFilms – The people with the piercings and tatoos are only banned for a short time period - not forever

  30. 30


  31. 31

    I hope they NEVER lift the ban.

  32. 32

    Re: caroaber – But I don't think it's about discrimination… Many gay men just lie to give blood anyway… The fact is that giving blood saves lives. Denying people the chance to give blood is resulting in death, obviously. If they're testing it anyway, why not let gay men save lives, too?

  33. 33

    and when and where was THIS issue discussed at the recent Logo NNN Awards???

    the "gays" are more concerned about the Alejandro video than the REAL ISSUES


  34. 34

    I have tatoos, I can't give blood. It's not about discrimination, it's about safety. God, not everything is about putting gays down, fuckwad.

  35. 35

    Obviously none of the idiots who are against this are in the medical field. They do in fact check the blood for disease, but there is an incubation period where it might not show up. Gay men are still the highest risk for aids, and for multiple sex partners. It is not just HIV, but other communicable diseases that are spread through blood. The idea that the gay community cares more about their agenda than they do public health speaks volumes. Obviously this is not a fool proof solution, people can just lie about there sexual history, but the most important thing in medicine is "first do no harm" and adding this unnecessary risk unconscionable.

  36. 36

    So it IS okay for gays to serve in the military and spill their blood in combat; but they have to remain in the closet. It is NOT okay to donate blood even if you do not have HIV? Remember not ALL gays have HIV but ALL gays cannot give blood.

    Just checking to make sure that this logic makes sense?!

  37. 37

    The medical community is admitting that they don't know everything and are going to err WAY on the side of caution. People that were in Europe, especially the UK, at certain times are also banned from donating at this time. Not everything is based solely on discrimination.

  38. 38

    Well shocker shocker. I don't care if they lift the ban or not. I am a gay man and I will never give blood. I just find it disgusting. Str8 people have unprotected sex all the time. Str8 are not monogamous all the time. Married men and women have hetero affairs, gay affairs and still married and donate blood all the time. It is discrimination and if people can't see that well it's just pathetic on their part.

  39. PatT says – reply to this


    I wouldn't want anyone that could possibly have any type of disease to give blood. You can't give blood if you've had cancer and are now in remission. It's for safety. Let it be.

    You are really becoming paranoid.

    Nobody is out to get the gay community, there are other's that are can't donate blood either……laws are laws, learn to live with it.

  40. 40

    Currently, the group with the highest infection rates are black women. Can you imagine what would happen if they banned black women from giving blood?!?!?! OMG, everyone would be screaming racism.. But, since it's gay people everone just stands by and lets it happen.

  41. 41

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver – If someone you knew and loved had AIDS you wouldn't say such things.

  42. 42

    I Know That Everybody Has Opinions Etc.
    But I Dont See Why Gays Aren't Allowed To Give Blood. Fair Enough Its Precautionary, Nobody Wants To Get HIV But Chances Are More Hetrosexual People Have HIV Than Homosexuals Because Its Not Like Hetrosexuals Dont Sleep With Eachother And Dont Have It. If All Blood Is Tested Then I Dont See What The Problem Is With Homosexuals Being Able To Give Blood, Their Blood Could Save Someones Life, If For Example There Might Not Be Enough Doners Of A Certain Blood Type Like O Negative And If Someone Is That Blood Type But Homosexual Without HIV Then They Could Be Hurting More People Than They Would Be With Everyone Without Medical Conditions Giving Blood.
    Very Sad.

  43. 43

    To all the people saying that there is a a short time where the AIDS virus is undetectable… As I previously said.. Black women are the group with the highest infection rates… Do you think we should now ban black women from giving blood?!?!

  44. 44

    You can't give blood if you've ever had mono. Stats in the past have shown gay men are at a higher risk for aids, so maybe they are going by the stats? But then again don't they test the blood?

  45. 45

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver
    But straight men who have had unprotected sex with prostitutes can give blood. isn't that equally a risk?

  46. 46

    Re: Gary78 – Hi Gary, you are right. I don't know anyone with AIDS and I realized it was an ignorant statement. I was afraid I was gonna catch heat for my remarks but didn't think it would be from a great American like yourself. Sorry, man.

  47. 47


  48. 48

    If you got bad blood from the Red Cross would you blame them?.. if the answer is yes, then you cant tell them who they can and can't take blood from.

  49. 49

    Re: btboyd – Giving blood is disgusting? Giving LIFE is disgusting? I hope you never have to receive blood, knowing someone committed a selfless, very UN-disgusting act to save your life. Sad. FYI, it is a statistical FACT that gay men are more susceptible to HIV infection than straight or lesbian couples.

    Gary78: Your stats don't make any sense. Over 74% of all HIV infected peoples in the U.S. are MALE. African American women may have the highest infection rate for females, but definitely not overall.

  50. 50

    Re: ardilla – I never said that. I think anybody who has unprotected sex shouldn't give blood. As the article notes, the ban on gay men and IV drug users began after they noticed higher rates of HIV infection within those groups. This is a tricky issue because there are groups that are identified as much more likely to be HIV postive and those groups should be banned but blood donors should also be screened on a case by case basis. Even straight people can be dirty birds. I get it.

  51. 51

    So if you're a closeted gay person you can still donate but if you openly admit that you're gay, you can't anymore? Well that makes perfect sense!? WTF!? lmao

  52. Emesa says – reply to this


    Re: Gary78 – Yeah, in the America the group with the highest infection rate is African-American women. Its such a horrible disease.

  53. Emesa says – reply to this


    Re: Bioootch – No you're right Afican-american women are the most likey group of women to contract HIV. I think women account for 1 in 4 of all new HIV cases and the majority of those are african-american women. I was confusing statistics.

  54. 54

    The U.S is proving itself time and time again to be completely unprogressive when regarding homosexuality. When will this end?

  55. balls says – reply to this



  56. 56

    Re: Emesa – That is FALSE. In the United States, it's MEN. African American WOMEN are at the highest risk and over 62% of HIV infected women are African American. But not overall….

  57. 57

    Sorry Perez.. This isn't a "get with the times" gay rights issue. This is a rather be safe than sorry issue ! Sorry dude but I don't think gay people should donate blood either

  58. 58

    good..better safe than sorry.
    how bout homos stop having unsafe ass sex before you bitch and whine about something else and falsely crying discrimination??
    you goys could have stopped aids in its tracks in the late 70's early 80's..but noooooo,yas just couldnt keep yr dicks out of holes made for evacuating shit..its yr own damn fault,and every death by hiv is yr damn fault too

  59. 59

    actually this isnt as cut and dried as you seem to think - nor can it be take as homophobia. its the same story in the UK and your not legally allowed to discriminte on the basis of a persons sexuality here. the amount of money it would take to put those litres of possibly tainted blood through the extra tests they would need would take so much funding that it would be counterproductive. there are many reasons someone cant give blood - recent tattoos, international tavel, blood transfusion, certain medications etc - these rules were put in place by doctors, not politicians. equality wont be acheived by forcing tainted blood into someones veins and no one should be put in that kind of danger cos someone wanted to make a political point.

  60. 60

    Screw this better safe than sorry bullcrap. Anyone can have AIDS. Black women are at a substantially higher risk and aren't banned. Gays shouldn't be either. Just ask about unprotected anal sex…for everyone. THEN you'd be safe and not discriminating.

  61. 7tizz says – reply to this


    Umm Mario, reality check here. The gay community still has a larger percentage of aids and other std's than the straight community. It's also on the rise now since many obstain from protection because drug cocktails will keep them alive and fine for a long time - or so they preceive.

  62. 62

    It is terrible, but the fact that we are having this debate shows that this generational shift will inevitably put policies like this ban and Don't Ask Don't Tell in the history books.

  63. 63

    This is ridiculous! No matter what race, gender or sexual preference, the blood donations are screened exactly the same. Even if someone was cruel enough to try and donate blood knowing good and well they have HIV, gay, straight or otherwise, it would be caught and disposed of in the screening process.

    I cannot believe that in this day and age people are not more aware of how HIV and other blood borne pathogens are passed from human to human, and, Eldrige Cleaver, it is absolutely not passed in a hot tub unless your sharing needles while soaking!

    This is absolutely prejudice and unacceptable. If they were prohibiting African Americans from donating blood there would be outrage and they are statistically more likely to be infected with HIV than their white counterparts.

  64. 64

    Oh god…well you might as well ban black people from donating too since they have the highest rate of having the disease. *rolls eyes*. gay or not it affects everyone. all the blood is screened for a whole panel of diseases no matter who it comes from.

  65. 65

    keep gays awayy!!!

  66. 66

    this is the same in Australia

  67. 67

    Re: balls – BALLS!!!!!

  68. 68

    well fuck them

  69. 69

    "Think of the amount of lies that could be saved with those kinds of resources!"

    Yes! Think of the lies…so many lies could be saved. Sheesh…

  70. 70

    Re: SandyLaine – Please. I already apologized for my statement.

  71. 71

    This is so ignorant. Straight people can have HIV too, who could have had sex with someone who is HIV+. Straight people are just as promiscuous as gay people. Just because you have had gay sex doesn't mean you're at risk. It doesn't make sense because for those who could be infected, they could go get blood work and have had said shit all to their doctors and lie to the blood intake workers. I guess then ban all blood donations then! to hell with saving lives. Where has our technology gone? I'm pretty sure that it is mandatory to examine the blood before it is sent out to be used anyways. What has this world come to? We are going backwards in time.

  72. 72

    I don't let my BF ejaculate in me because he could be on the DOWN LOW and could give me HIV. I don't swallow for the same reason. So why would I want a gay man's blood?

  73. 73

    Re: SandyLaine – that is a really good point, if African Americans were banned relatively speaking for those fresh off the boat from Africa, I mean there is a high population of HIV+ Africans. But not every African is HIV+ and to make such judgment is very bias and especially Racist. What makes the difference for another human being that has a different sexual preference. Good example, its unfortunate though that society's media has constructed this upon gays, and for said religious beliefs, but which is misinterpreted, I mean isn't that was why segregation and slavery took place?

  74. 74

    Re: justtfax – But then again all you really need is any one person who has had unprotected sex, especially ones who seek prostitutes, to lie and spread the disease. Take note that it is mandatory for them to evaluate the blood samples as they come in for any blood-related diseases before using, so really all you need is one idiotic doctor who is most likely lazy to skip that one sample and that's how it gets passed on. Those who had caught HIV from blood transfusions back in the 80's was because of the blood samples not being screened what-so-ever. Today it is rare for that to happen, at least in Canada.

  75. 75

    This is disgusting. I was publicly humiliated at my school blood drive when I was honest on the questionare and therefore unable to give blood. The nurse caused a huge scene and made me feel really poorly for being gay. I hate this law, it's absolutely unnecessary and stupid. This makes me so angry. Fuckers!

  76. 76

    ….maybe if we had oil in our veins

  77. 77

    Re: venus13 – You're wrong. In fact, the red cross in SOME states accept donations from people with the genetic disorder hemochromatosis, and in other states those same people are barred by the red cross from donating. And it is NOT even transferable by receiving blood from someone with this condition. It's all political. It's bullshit.

  78. 78

    This makes no sense. They have to already test the blood since ANYONE that gives blood could have aids.

    It's discrimination, pure and simple.

  79. 79

    i think the reason they have banned gay men is because HIV starts with from anal sex between two males, its contracted from the mixture of male blood and seamen. when HIV is initially contacted it cannot be detected immediately. so i feel its better to be safe that sorry but i do agree you can say the same if a straight male contracted HIV but it is less common

  80. 80

    think about it…this PRECAUTION is NOT set to discriminate anyone. The main objective and concern for any health professional is to care for their patients and save lives. If there is any way of minimizing the risk of HIV-positive blood being donated, that is a logical reasoning to prevent the risk of unnecessarily inoculating someone else. They also don't take blood from people who are pierced recently, low blood iron concentrations, recently tattooed…it's all about precaution and the minimizing POTENTIAL dangers to the RECIPIENT. IT's NOT ABOUT THE PERSON WHO DONATES.

  81. 81

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver – You are so Fucked up and uneducated. First off there is no way you would ever get HIV from someone in a hot tub. Second and this one is also covered by facts. The highest rates of new infection in the United States is Heterosexual Black Women. So Lets also ban anyone that has had sex with a Black man never can be sure if he is on the down low. When will you fucking retards stop thinking about HIV/AIDS like it was 1980. Read up on it. Learn the facts. And don't think because you have been married for 30 years your safe cause you never know what asshole in a parking lot or bathroom your husbands dick was in.

  82. 82

    Sooo are women that have had sex with men not allowed to donate either?

  83. 83

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver – since when did being gay means you have aids. Straight men and women are just as vulnerable to the disease as gays.

  84. 84

    Good, I agree with their decision. You want trannies in the women's bathrooms and now your bitchin about your blood products? Pick a different argument Mario….nobody promised you a perfect little world.

  85. 85

    Re: jcardee – i would to see where you got your statistic from

  86. Lucas says – reply to this


    Well get this = I've been given donated blood several times via transfusions during surgery, and I can no longer donate blood. How does that make any sense either?

  87. Lucas says – reply to this


    PS: If it weren't for all the great people in this world who donate blood, I'd be a dead woman walking. Because they screen blood so carefully these days, I think this ban is ridic.

  88. 88

    Re: damion2664 – Go fuck yourself

  89. 89

    Re: loveliivelife – When the hell did I say that gay people have AIDS? Read all my comments on this post and you will see that I never wrote anything of the sort.

  90. 90

    sooo…why aren't African American males banned from donating blood too!? they have the highest percent of adolescent and adult HIV and AIDS statistics in a study conducted in 2007….this is ridiculous, unfair and basically unmoral…it goes against all religions and all their hypocritical believes…

  91. 91

    this is discrimination people.

  92. 92

    Wow that is absolutely disgusting I can't believe they can get away with that! Homophobic scumbags!!

  93. 93

    Re: Eldridge Cleaver – people eldridge cleaver already apologized, lets drop it.

    The fact just is: everybody can get aids, so its discriminating against gays to ban them from giving blood because straight people can also have aids. These are just facts. The american government is as backwards as can be sometimes

  94. 94

    SERIOUSLY, they are right.
    i dont have any thing against gays, but wat if some1 turns gay because of that blood..that would ruin his life/kids will be bullied…so keep it real.

    not all gay people are 100%

  95. 95

    I'm gay and I'm not offended. Until there is a cure or some form of inoculation found for HIV/AIDS then I think it's sensible because of the incubation period. We all have to be very careful, a friend of mine told me just two days ago that he was HIV, it's not going away just because people here in the west are not dropping like flies like they were in the early 80's. Yes people in the west are living normal lives with the disease thanks to the wonders of medicine, BUT that doesn't mean we can be complacent. Anyway, I would rather a few militant gays were offended than for children or anyone for that matter getting infected by bad blood.

  96. 96

    God, this is so backward! Isn't all donated blood HIV checked anyway? How ridiculous to assume that a straight donor couldn't possibly have recently contracted HIV but a gay man probably has! Jesus Christ people, way to be judgemental!! ANYONE can contract HIV unfortunately - not just gay men!!

  97. 97

    This policy is absolutely necessary. There is no need to take chances. This is science, plain and simple.

  98. 98

    Re: SwedishSweetheart – actually its not only in America, its the same in the UK (and i think the Republic of Ireland)

  99. 99

    then they should forbid african american women to donate blood too, that's what HIVs tests are for! and if there is a period where you can't detect the virus then they should tell anyone who has had heterosexual or gay sex in the stated period of time to not donate blood!!

  100. 100

    not clearly thought. because of the blood screening on each sample - it should pick up positive or negative - or hep a,b,c etc - therfore could be a good way to let people know that would not otherwise have sought medical attention - and had unsafe sex for sheer pleasure - unbeknowns - there needs to be capture periods - after 3 months of known risk - but you could make it 6 months - as these sicknesses can remain dormant for a time. If its not then its a waste of good blood and also an opportunity to catch risk - before spreading - that would not otherwise been captured….

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