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Just read in the times that gay men have "won" the right to donate blood...

(117 Posts)
AliGrylls Sat 10-Sep-11 20:37:39

It was yesterday's newspaper and I have tried to find a link to the article online but for some reason can't find it. Anyway, apparently gay men have never been able to donate blood because of the risk of HIV and hepatitis - until now. This is going to be replaced by a new rule which is that they have to have been celibate for a year. Does this seem archaic to anyone?

What if, for example, there is a gay man who has been in a monogamous relationship for 12 years. Also, taking into account the fact that the sort of person that chooses to give blood is most likely going to be the sort of person who is honest. Should the rule be that it was subject to an up to date blood test for everyone?

DH and I were just discussing and he did point out to me that people do lie and there is a risk that someone could pass it on. Am I being unreasonable or naive?

Let's liven up mumsnet with a good discussion about this.

So does HIV/hepatitis go away after a year then...? hmm

And surely a straight person is just as capable of lying. It is ridiculous, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

AgentZigzag Sat 10-Sep-11 20:43:36

I thought the year was because you can't always detect the HIV virus straight away?

I'm not sure why you'd think blood donors are a more honest group of people than anyone else?

Would that imply that those who can't give blood are more dishonest then?

Surely all the blood is tested anyway, its not just done on someones word that they are healthy...? confused
In which case I dont see why everyone isnt allowed to do it? (genuine question)

Silverlace Sat 10-Sep-11 20:49:01

And what about the rule that you can't donate blood if you have received a donation? I received blood after giving birth so now can't give anything back to help someone in a similar position. What is wrong with me? What is brewing inside me?

AliGrylls Sat 10-Sep-11 20:49:26

Hepatitis is within 67 days and I think the HIV is within 3 months (although not sure).

I am thinking the sort of person who donates blood is giving and probably rather nice people (no implication to those who don't - I don't give blood because I hate needles).

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 20:50:54

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14824310

I also thought all blood was tested anyway

Fairly appalled that there was ever a ban

DialMforMummy Sat 10-Sep-11 20:51:08

As if heterosexuals don't get HIV..... I think it is ridiculous in the first place that gay men were not allowed to give blood.
All donated blood is treated (heated I think) to get rid of any potential HIV in there. They keep it for a year just to make sure.

missymarmite Sat 10-Sep-11 20:51:19

Last year I had a relationship with an African man who is now permanently resident in the UK. On applying for his visa he had a medical, in the UK, which confirmed he was HIV negative. Even so, and even though I have also had a blood check, I cannot give blood until a year has passed since we broke up. He can never donate blood. Just because of where he comes from.

I guess they have to put people's safety first, even when it seems like overkill.

jkklpu Sat 10-Sep-11 20:51:28

I haven't given blood since I did so about 15 years ago when told that, because I had been to Brazil when I was a baby, there was a risk of some parasite-born disease and they'd use only my plasma. Seemed pretty far-fetched, no offer of a test or risk assessment.

AliGrylls Sat 10-Sep-11 20:51:43

This is the other thing - I did think all blood was tested and that everyone had to have blood tests done before they donated to make sure they didn't have any diseases.

Sliverlace - I have no idea what is wrong with you?

woowa Sat 10-Sep-11 20:52:34

I've had a blood transfusion which means I can NEVER give blood again, because they can't be sure, apparently, that they've detected everything harmful in the blood. Not that that answers your original AIBU, but just to say that they obviously have doubts. Are men in sexual relationships with men in a higher risk category of catching/having diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis? I think they probably were, historically, but i would imagine that has changed now, hence the change in blood policy?

Sandalwood Sat 10-Sep-11 20:54:23

They haven't "never been able to donate blood"
It came about in the 80s with AIDS - it was a scary time.

AliGrylls Sat 10-Sep-11 20:55:24

dialm - my sentiments exactly. The initial rule was obviously a shock response to HIV in the first instance and the implication is obviously that all gay men are going to be promiscuous. The rule should may be be for all people who are promiscuous as opposed to just gay men.

woowa Sat 10-Sep-11 20:55:36

x-posted with lots of people! silverlace we're in the same boat. The blood service told me that since they can't detect everything they can't take my blood and risk it being given to, for example, 4 other people, who then pass whatever unknown disease on to 4 other people each when they donate. Because they don't test for EVERYTHING, they restrict our donation. So even though i understand it's still pretty annoying!

troisgarcons Sat 10-Sep-11 20:55:46

All blood is tested.

Neither I nor my children can ever give blood as we have been donor recipients.

woowa Sat 10-Sep-11 20:56:14

But how do you test for promiscuity on the blood form?

Sandalwood Sat 10-Sep-11 20:56:35

It's funny you should say that missmarmite, about "just because of where he comes from". In many other countries you can't donate blood if you've been to England. Yes we are on that list. (CJD)

comixminx Sat 10-Sep-11 20:57:24

jkklpu - I was born in Brazil and lived there until I was three, and the rule I was told about donating blood was that they would test for Chagas disease on the first donation I gave: they took a little but extra so that they could test for it, and it must gave come back fine cos I've given a couple of times (though not since getting pg in Nov 09).

AliGrylls Sat 10-Sep-11 20:58:14

woowa - question on form "how many partners have you had in the past year?"

The question is whether most people would be honest. I think they would be. DH disagrees.

missymarmite Sat 10-Sep-11 20:59:04

Quite, sandalwood. We are all mad cows as far as the Americans are concerned, right?

OddBoots Sat 10-Sep-11 21:00:09

The reason those who have been given blood themselves can't donate is a simple maths based one. The chances of you having anything wrong are very small but they are still at least double the risk of someone who hasn't been transfused. If you had more than one unit then your risk goes up proportionately.

This in itself is tiny and shouldn't be a worry but if the person getting your blood also got blood from other people who have received and they then to give too you quickly get into 10x the risk and beyond, it's like a pyramid.

I have just found out I am no longer able to give as I have been pregnant with embryos created with another woman's egg and they believe prions (like vCJD) can be carried in human eggs. Until they can test for prions they'd have to turn me away, mind you, they may be able to make blood in a lab by then!

Sandalwood Sat 10-Sep-11 21:00:58

"The rule should may be be for all people who are promiscuous as opposed to just gay men."
It also still applies to people who have slept with prostitutes. And women who have slept with a man who has slept with another man.

Hullygully Sat 10-Sep-11 21:05:15

I would never trust a homopaedophiliac about anything

Peachy Sat 10-Sep-11 21:05:23

It's ridiculous

My gay friends have been together longer than DH and I, at least 15 years. gay relationshsips are just as able to last- they may be female so avoid this type of ban but my aunts got togetehr in the war; and I am not tlaking about the Falklands!

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