Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Can Gay People Donate Blood

Why Cant Gay Bi And Queer Men Donate Blood

Why Can’t Gay Men Donate Blood?

In light of the HIV and hepatitis B epidemic in the 1970s and 80s, health experts realized these conditions could be transmitted through blood. That said, it was crucial that people at an increased risk of the virus in this case, men who have sex with other men decreased their chances of passing it to others.

Since effective screening wasnt reliable at the time, the FDA decided to restrict blood donations from gay and queer men. But, four decades later, our understanding of HIV/AIDS has expanded, and our medical technology has become more reliable. So, why hasnt the ban changed with the times, too?

As of 2022, the FDA guidance entitled Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products states that all U.S. blood-collection organzations must: Defer for three months from the most recent sexual contact, a man who has had sex with another man during the past three months.

Many of the organizations that run blood drives hold beliefs that are in conflict with the FDAs rule. believe blood donation eligibility should not be determined by methods that are based upon sexual orientation, the American Red Cross states. The blood-collecting organization also notes that putting energy toward research and data can help convince the FDA to change its harmful policy.

How Much Time A Man Can Donate Blood

It is recommended that a donation be made within the first 12 weeks of the donation period . The interval allows our bodies to restore their iron stock in an orderly manner. Platelet donors have the potential to give more than once every two weeks and up to 24 times per year.

Sperm Donation: A Powerful Gift

It is a great way to help others and make a difference in the world. It can be rewarding to see a child born as a result of your sperm donation, as well as to know that you assisted someone in need. Sperm donation can be a powerful gift to someone. Families can create new lives, and children who may not be able to have children of their own may benefit from it. Sperms donated by fully qualified sperm donors must be tested at least once a week. In addition, we encourage our qualified donors to visit the office twice a week. Blood is useful and can be stored in a refrigerator for 42 days. Platelets can be stored in agitators at room temperature for up to five days. Plasma and cryo are frozen and kept in freezers for up to a year. It is critical to remember that blood is a valuable resource. It can be used to help others in need for up to 42 days in a refrigerator, and it can last up to 42 days. Blood donations can help people in need in a variety of ways.

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It really amounts to being an effective ban, based on a persons identity rather than an actual factor on the science, she added.

In 2015, the guidance changed from a lifetime ban to a 12-month deferral, and the FDA determines the guidance used by all U.S. blood collection organizations.

Restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, who are considered to be at high risk for HIV or AIDS transmission, date back to the 1980s.

Gay and bisexual men undergo individual risk assessments instead of time-based bans in countries around the world, recently including Greece and France, according to international reports. Italy, Israel, and several other countries have similar requirements.

In 2020, ABC News broke the story that several major blood donation organizations including the American Red Cross, Vitalant, and OneBlood announced that they are working together to study and provide data to the FDA to determine if eligibility based on an individualâs risk can replace the current time-based deferral system while maintaining the safety of the blood supply.

Vitalant told ABC News in a new statement that researchers are halfway toward its goal of enrolling 2,000 participants across eight cities: Washington D.C., San Francisco, Orlando, New Orleans/Baton Rouge, Miami, Memphis, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. They encourage gay and bisexual men who are 18 to 39 years old to participate in the research.

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Can You Give Blood If You Are A Gay Male

Picture source: bbci

Yes, you can give blood if you are a gay male. There are no restrictions on giving blood based on sexual orientation. All blood donors are screened for risk factors for transfusion-transmissible infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, and West Nile virus.

Blood transfusions necessitate the presence of more donors and a broader range of donor types. This is due to an increase in the number of blood donors. When performing an emergency blood transfusion, it is critical to match the blood types of the donor and recipient in order to ensure compatibility. Blood bags come with only one number that identifies them: the recipients race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Hereditary hemochromatosis, or HA, affects the bodys iron metabolism and is passed down through the genes. Because a heredity hemochromatosis donor is more likely to donate blood every eight weeks, this means they are more likely to donate blood on a regular basis. If it is appropriate, they can also be used for transfusion. Blood transfusions are in high demand as a result of an aging population.

New Uk Blood Donation Policy: Allowing People Who Have Received Transfusions

Where can gay men donate blood world map

People who have had a blood transfusion after the date of the new blood donation policy will be eligible to donate blood, according to a new UK policy. In general, donating blood has a very low risk of contracting the deadly variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease . The risk of donating blood remains low, and this change is strictly precautionary. Please go to the website to learn how to get involved if you are eligible and live in the United Kingdom, please contact us.

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Reasoning For The Restrictions

Blood services first and foremost must ensure that all blood received for donation is safe for transfusion purposes. This is achieved by screening potential donors for high risk behaviors through questionnaires and interviews before blood is taken, and subsequent laboratory testing on samples of donated blood.

Blood services commonly justify their bans against MSM due to the marginal increase in the risk for transfusion-transmitted HIV. Other groups with similar restrictions, or complete prohibition to donate blood, due to increased or possible risk for certain infectious diseases include intravenous drug users, recipients of animal organs or tissues, and those who have traveled or lived abroad in certain countries.

In the 1980s, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic outbreak occurred, there was a high prevalence of the disease on MSM and no reliable tests for the virus, which justified blanket bans on blood donations from high-risk groups.

These restrictions are similar to current restrictions on people with certain residence in the United Kingdom, France, or Saudi-Arabia during the height of the BSE epidemic of 1980 through 1996, due to the absence of a test for its human form, variant CreutzfeldtâJakob disease .

Despite Critical Blood Shortage Discrimination Still Keeps Many Gay Men From Donating

Heres why advocates say the restrictions are outdated, and how you can help now

One month into his freshman year at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Connor Martin and his fledgling friend group made their way to a campus blood drive. But as his friends went on to donate after answering screening questions, Martin was turned away. When my friends asked why I was leaving so abruptly I had to explain that Im gay and sexually active, and I cant donate because theyre worried about HIV, says Martin, who had yet to come out to all of his new friends. He remembers being so humiliated his voice shook, and needing to go back to his dorm room to cry.

That was in 2014. Since then, the Food and Drug Administration has twice revised its policy on blood donation by gay men. First, it lifted the lifelong ban preventing them from donating, saying instead that they had to abstain from sexual contact with another man for 12 months. Then, in April 2020, they shortened that to three months.

But now, as the nation finds itself in a worst-in-a-decade shortage, calls to drop the time-based ban altogether for being at once discriminatory and unnecessary have taken on new urgency.

For some types of blood products, like Type O blood and platelets, there is less than a one-day supply on reserve when ideally there should be five, according to the American Red Cross, which supplies 40 percent of the nations blood.

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Lifeblood Is Considering The Plasma Pathway Before Working On An Individual Risk Assessment Approach

  • Lifeblood has several concerns with this approach for Australia, including:
  • Our preliminary modelling shows that allowing self-declared, monogamous gay men to donate would slightly increase the risk of being infected with HIV through a blood transfusion, increasing the risk from once in about 31 years to up to once in about 18 years.
  • Individual risk assessment does not as fully cover the HIV window period risk, because the 3 months starts from first contact with a new partner, whereas our current approach starts from the last contact.
  • If we used the same questions as other countries, the approach would allow people having sex with a partner from a high HIV-prevalence country to donate and that is a higher risk group in Australia.
  • There may be ways to make an individual risk assessment approach safe and appropriate for blood donation in Australia, but we need to do more research. We therefore plan to be more inclusive and consider the plasma pathway first.
  • The table below compares the approaches:
  • Blood Donation: Rule Change Means More Gay And Bisexual Men Can Give Blood

    Gravitas: US senators want FDA to allow gay people to donate blood

    Blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men are being relaxed across the UK, in what the government is calling a “landmark change”.

    The new criteria focuses on individual behaviours, lifting a blanket ban for any men who have had sex with men in the last three months.

    It means men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will now be able to donate blood at any time.

    The changes will be implemented by summer 2021.

    All blood donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for more than three months, will now be eligible to donate regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner, or the type of sex they have.

    Under previous rules, all men who have sex with men had to abstain from sex for three months in order to donate.

    The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs – which advises UK health departments – recommended the changes after examining the latest evidence relating to blood donation and sexual behaviour.

    Acknowledging that “all donors” have potential to carry infections, including heterosexual men and women, the government claims the UK has now become one of the first countries in the world to adopt a “more individualised risk-based approach” to donor selection criteria.

    The BBC previously uncovered how some gay and bisexual men were breaking the three-month rule in order to donate blood.

    Follow Ben Hunte on and .

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    What Is The Current Federal Policy On Gay And Bisexual Men Donating Blood

    On April 2, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was updating its policy regarding blood donations from men who have sex with men , reducing the deferral period from 12 months to three months. Blood centers nationwide screen potential donors by asking a set of questions written to determine risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease, such as HIV or hepatitis. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this pre-screening eliminates up to 90 percent of donors who may be carrying a blood-borne disease.

    On June 8, the American Red Cross implemented the changes to donor eligibility criteria announced earlier this spring by the FDA. They encourage individuals who believe they may now be eligible to give under the new guidelines to visit RedCrossBlood.org to learn more about donor eligibility requirements that help ensure the safety of both blood donors and blood recipients.

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    How You Can Help: Donate Blood

    Blood donors between the ages of 17 and 65 are eligible if they meet all donor eligibility criteria. After fasting for four hours, you will be weighed and measured in order to give blood. Furthermore, you must agree to our strict donor eligibility criteria and undergo a health screening. The amount of blood donated in the United Kingdom can be paid as either a percentage of a blood donation or a percentage of a blood donation. Whether youre a new donor or an experienced one, we urge you to get involved with giving.

    ‘the Policy Remains Discriminatory In Nature’

    Should Gay Men Have To Wait 3 Months Before They Can Give Blood?

    Gunther and Estok share in outrage from the LGBT community over what they call a discriminatory experience.

    “Not only is it imperative that gay and bisexual men who are now able to donate blood be allowed to do so without delay, the FDA must also lift the 3 month deferral in its entirety,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD, a LGBTQ advocacy organization. “The policy remains discriminatory in nature, unaligned with science, and continues to prevent LGBTQ Americans from saving lives.”

    But those who are deferred under the old guidelines will still have to wait. Gunther said he wants to encourage others like him to keep trying to donate and not be discouraged if they are turned away.

    “We have perfectly good blood to give, and we want to give it and help.”

    Kate Fry advised that those who are newly eligible under the FDA guidelines should keep in touch with their local blood bank to check on when the facility expects to finalize implementation.

    “We’re so excited to have these individuals become donors again,” said Fry. “We are absolutely working as fast as we can as an industry. Patience is what we ask for our guests during this time and we’ll get them into the fold as quickly as possible.”

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    Fda May Update Its Policy On Blood Donations From Gay And Bi Men

    Having eased its ban on blood donations from gay and bi men in 2020, the FDA may soon use a questionnaire to assess individual risk.

    More gay and bisexual men may be able to donate blood and plasma in 2023, reports CNN, noting that the Food and Drug Administration has signaled that it may ease its policy on blood donations from men who have sex with men. This population had once been banned from donating blood because of HIV transmission risksa very real concern in the early days of the HIV epidemic but one no longer justified by science.

    Currently, men who have sex with men can donate blood and plasma if they havent had sex in the previous three months. That policy went into effect in 2020. The previous FDA recommendations required gay and bi men to abstain from sex for 12 months before donating blood, but when COVID-19 struck in 2020 and resulted in a blood shortage, the FDA eased the policy.

    In the near future, instead of enforcing another blanket blood ban like the three-month abstinence requirement on all gay and bi men, the FDA may implement a questionnaire that would assess individual risk.

    We anticipate issuing updated draft guidance in the coming months, the FDA said in a statement obtained by CNN. The FDA remains committed to gathering the scientific data related to alternative donor deferral policies that maintain a high level of blood safety.

    An Outdated And Harmful Policy

    From a medical point of view, restricting gay and bisexual men from exercising the right to donate blood seems strange, especially given the severe blood shortage. Adhering to restrictions developed in the 1980s restrictions developed with limited scientific evidence isnt standard practice in the medical field.

    After all, weve come a long way in the areas of science and technology since the 1980s, and weve reached tremendous milestones when it comes to understanding the epidemiology of HIV. Now, the advanced tools at our disposal can safely and effectively screen blood products, for example.

    This combination of modern science and innovative tools allows us to diagnose people with HIV and get real-time results. Practitioners can now perform blood tests and ascertain whether a potential donor is infected with the utmost sensitivity. In fact, these diagnoses can be performed by an expert, but people can now perform these tests, in the comfort of their homes, too. So, with such processes in place and accessible now, the ban seems outdated. If our technology has improved and our knowledge has grown, why hasnt the FDAs policy shifted alongside these changes?

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