Thursday, May 28, 2009

HIV Still Seen as the ‘Gay Man Disease’

I thought that the whole ‘only gay men have HIV’ hysteria had passed in the late 1980′s; that someone had educated the obviously sex-education-sheltered population at some point letting them know that sexually transmitted diseases and infections affect well, sexually active people… Male, female, of all sexual orientations. However, I recently learned that in the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, and Hong Kong, discrimination is still going strong–Even to the point of being eligible to advance the health of others.

If you are a gay male living in any of the above countries, you are prohibited from donating blood. Why? Because if you’re a gay male, you have HIV… And if you don’t have HIV, it will be a mere matter of time before you realize that indeed, you do.

I had no idea that this was going on. I have never donated blood in my life due to a severe, life-long phobia of syringes. You couldn’t pay me to go anywhere near a syringe for any reason short of laying on my death bed in need of a blood transfusion. And if it was suggested that I needed blood for any reason but would not die… Yeah, you’re going to have to convince me further because there is no way anyone is coming near me with a syringe. When I was a child, you had to promise me that we weren’t going to the doctor’s pretty much any time I had to leave the house during the day for a reason other than needing to go to school and if we did wind up at the doctor’s, I have been known to walk into the office, see the syringe, and immediately flee the building and refuse to go back in, clinging and grabbing onto anything as I was carried against my will back into the doctor’s office. This situation has not gotten any better in the years of adulthood.

While the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, and Hong Kong prohibit gay males from donating blood, even if you have not been sexually active in years, other countries are not doing much better on the discrimination poll. In South Africa and New Zealand, gay and bisexual men cannot give blood up until they have not been sexually active for five years, whether it was protected sex or not and in Argentina, Australia, Japan, and Hungary, the ban on gay blood resides until after one year of not being sexually active.

The reasoning behind this ban is said to be due to practicality and not intended to be discriminatory in a malicious manner.

“All donated blood is obviously tested carefully – but it can take a few months for the HIV virus to show up. So if you only recently contracted HIV and you then give blood, you can unwittingly inject the virus into the blood bank. Gay men are seven times more likely to contract HIV than straight men. So it has been judged that the risk is simply too great.”

Even given the statistics used here, there are so many statistics out there done by so many different organizations giving completely different information so what this could have been a product of is simply picking the statistic tha best fuels your reasoning for needlessly discriminating against a group of people for the sake of discrimination. Bottom line, people are dying because there are not enough people willing to donate blood and instead of taking the blood of the people who are giving it, health industries around the world are still fueled by bigoted politics, especially given the fact that all blood banks test the blood they receive. All of them. No matter what. Not one drop of blood comes from a blood bank to a person in need of that blood without it having been tested. Why? Because sometimes people honestly don’t know that they have contracted a sexually transmitted infection and HIV is not the only STI that can be passed through blood, there is also hepatitis B, syphilis, and herpes.

The only answer to this blatant discrimination of gay males is education. It is so important to be educated and to educate those around you in whatever way you can to raise awareness about important issues like safe sex, blood donation, and STIs. The more people who become educated about these issues the less people we will have still believing that HIV is strictly the gay male disease.

h/t Amplify

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Posted in: Musings | 15 Comments

15 Thoughts on HIV Still Seen as the ‘Gay Man Disease’ | Leave a Comment

  1. Buffy2q says:

    Much of it is ignorance, and then there's the blatant bigotry on the part of the anti-gay brigade. Sadly it's people who need blood who suffer because there's so little to go around. Amazing how humans will harm others and themselves in the name of lunatic bigotries and dogmas.

  2. hexy says:

    In Australia, the ban also covers sex workers, despite Australian sex workers having a lower HIV infection rate than the general population. It's ridiculous, based on hysteria and fear, and certainly not evidence based.

  3. Anise says:

    Same for the US. Sex workers can't give blood EVER – but the clients of sex workers can give blood as long as it's been a year since they visited a sex worker. Even though sex workers generally have lower STI rates than their clients, they're supposedly more tainted or something…

  4. Asada says:

    All donations of live giving substances should be honored. If it takes several months for HIV or other autoimmune infections to show up in testing, then why cant donated blood be held and retested after a period of time? NOt only is this bigotry targetting gays, but it is also uneconomical and dangerous to ppl who may need blood.

  5. cheapcomputers says:

    I am glad to post my views and points in this blog, Blogs are becoming the main source of knowing about things certainty,its importance,idolizing,either in a marketing way that one can differentiate. I enjoyed to be at here because one of my point has been cleared here. http://www.electrocomputerwarehouse.com

  6. You know after reading the title I figured it would have been easy to comment on how ignorant some people are, but if you think about who is making these rules (doctors mainly) ther is no excuse besides hatred. Anyway good post it is disgusting on how subtle discrimination can display itself and staggering to think that people will go to the length of killing someone by denying gay people the right to give blood. I really hope the people making these rules are in deperate need of blood only to find out that there is not enough wouldn't that be an ironical justice.

  7. I know that in the united states that you may not even donate blood if “you are a woman who has had sex (even once) with a man that has had sex (even once) with another man since 1977″.

  8. Adam says:

    Just dropped by your blog while surfing. Must say that you have a great blog. And about this post, I can say that education is really very important factor in making people aware of the topics realted to sex, aids, etc.. It is pity to know that gay people are seen in such ways in some of the countries. This should not happen actually.

  9. dddilwala8 says:

    Really its a great post. I think people can get some useful information from this blog. Thanks for posting such a informative post.Keep blogging.

  10. Atripla says:

    Atripla is a fixed dose combination drug for the treatment of HIV infection. It combines Gilead Sciences's tenofovir and emtricitabine (already available in the anti-HIV combination Truvada) with Bristol-Myers Squibb's efavirenz into a fixed-dose pill.

  11. STDnoob says:

    This is one of the things that says that AMERICA still doesn't accept GAYS..Being gay doesn't mean that you are a HIV infested person..

  12. Kiara says:

    We mean not just gays but all of us in the community should be aware of whats happening in our world that nowadays people don't know much how to protect themselves from being outcast in whole community just like getting infected with STDs and the like.

  13. rachell32skeith says:

    Nowadays, people become active to sex to show their loves to their partners. In related to this we should be aware how to protect our health from different diseases that could get by sex. STD a venereal disease is one of this; it’s an illness that transmits by means of human sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. If you are active in sex you should be aware how STD can affect you. STD can only avoid if you abstain from sex complete. However, if not, you and your partner can still be free to STD by having an STD Test which is preferred than using condoms. you can read more about information at
    http://simplestdtesting.com/resources/

  14. that really interesting to find about other countries are doing better on the discrimination poll. In New Zealand, gay and bisexual men cannot give blood up until they have not been sexually active for years that so awesome.

  15. gay news says:

    It's sad the ignorance that is around and even our mainstream networks and “news” shows aren't helping in this matter, their is a GLAAD call to action against The View for putting out miss information

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