Don’t Tell or Don’t Give Blood
Did you know that even today, the FDA still refuses to accept blood from “documented” homosexual men?
I’m floored by this to say the least. Turns out, gay males aren’t allowed to give blood because the FDA decided to take extra precautions in preventing the spread of HIV/ AIDS. This policy was manifested during the 70s and 80s – a very uneasy period for health care.
So thinking about it, I was fine with the policy as back then the disease was widely thought to affect mostly homosexual men. However now, like many other unequal practices, it seems to have run its course (see DADT).
There are several reasons why this policy should be repealed:
1. The blood must be tested thoroughly before it’s injected into a patient.
Anything else is unsanitary and not to mention, completely dangerous.
2. It’s specifically targeting gay men over all other co-cultures.
This practice may have been justified in the past with inconsistent testing procedures, but not now.
3. It does not take into account the number of heterosexual people who have contracted the disease in the years following the initial onslaught.
4. It has not stood the test of time, but why should it?
Nothing is constant unless we’re speaking in relative terms, which we’re not.
5. THERE IS A BLOOD SHORTAGE.
Why should any potential donors be turned down just because of sexual orientation? If we were to use this logic in singling out groups based on exposure rates today, then African-American and Hispanic people would be the new groups unable to give blood.
Sure, you can lie on the form and claim heterosexuality, but why should you have to?
With the accuracy of testing procedures available today, it would seem highly improbable that contaminated blood be injected into a recipient. So one has to wonder if this is really for precautionary reasons or is something completely different fueling this injustice?
Could the cost of testing samples be the sole reason behind this injustice? Does the FDA somehow feel that the Red Cross will come out on top fiscally if a large group is excluded from donating? Is this device being used to subconsciously keep the gay community from gaining too much ground?
Of course these are all just speculations, but one thing is certain. The demand for blood is increasing while the supply is dwindling.
Guess beggars can be choosers?
Born and raised in Petersburg, VA, Anthony works as a State Farm Account Representative in Enterprise Rent-A-Car's Insurance Operations Department. In his spare time he can often be found wandering aimlessly, with camera in tow, snapping away. He's also a member of, the Richmond-based, Fools Day Comedy Troupe. Read his personal blog here and follow him on Twitter.
“I felt much better about my donation.”September 28, 2016
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