Britain: Gay Men Allowed to Give Blood
I went to give blood for the first time last year, and I wanted to write this post back then, because I was really pissed off at the criteria for giving blood.
I had to answer questions like:
Had I ever had sex with a gay man? Had I ever had sex with someone from the Congo? Had I ever paid for sex? Had I ever been paid for sex? Had I ever had unprotected sex? Etc, etc, etc.
I swear, blood banks are more interested in my sex life than the Catholic Church. What’s more they are bigoted, racist, homophobic idiots, who wouldn’t know the first thing about sex workers (blood banks, not the Catholic Church…oh wait).
When I was in the little cubicle being prepped by the nurse for my blood donation, I asked her why they didn’t accept blood from gay men. She was a little surprised by my question, and after a moment of silence, she started off with pseudo-scientific rhetoric that was worthy of the dark ages.
I didn’t bother arguing with her, I just listened and silently fumed on the inside. Part of me wanted to boycott them for being bigoted assholes, but the people who need blood transfusions don’t deserve to be punished for other people’s miss-information and idiocy.
Let’s consider for a moment that blood bank gay related HIV hysteria was warranted, which it isn’t, they test the blood from every donation they get for every blood related disease imaginable. That alone should be enough to accept blood donations from everyone, no exceptions.
That’s why I’m so happy to hear that Britain now accepts blood donations from gay men:
British health officials said Thursday that they would lift a ban on gay men donating blood, as long as their last sexual contact with another man was more than a year earlier. The decision, which reverses a policy adopted in the 1980s, followed a review that found no evidence to support the need for a ban. Other countries, including Australia, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and New Zealand, also allow gay men to donate blood with similar conditions. Canada and the United States prohibit gay men from donating blood. (Emphasis mine) Source: nytimes.com
Their one year rule is dumb as fuck, but hey, it’s an improvement. At least it’s no longer a private party! I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that other countries, such as Australia, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, and New Zealand also accept blood from gay men. Too bad the States and Canada are still stuck in the dark ages.
If you really want to give blood where they won’t accept it based on some archaic ban, you can always lie. I did. Like I said, they test everyone’s blood anyhow, and on top of doing a public service, a few weeks later you’ll receive a letter in the mail telling you you’re blood type and that your blood is disease free. Two services for one!