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Poll: Ban in the US on donating blood if you are gay watch

  • View Poll Results: Should gay men be permitted to donate blood?
    Yes - If they test negative for AIDS
    58
    84.06%
    No - Under no circumstances should this be permitted
    11
    15.94%

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    Interesting poll results so far but I agree bans like this are so old fashioned and ignorant move on people! If people have aids they won't be accepted simple as that.
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    (Original post by stoltguyboo)
    Interesting poll results so far but I agree bans like this are so old fashioned and ignorant move on people! If people have aids they won't be accepted simple as that.
    It wasn't so ignorant when it first came into being, as there wasn't a reliable way of testing blood for AIDS in the early 1980s. However, at this point, it really should be revised as there are better tests in existence now, and all the ban is really doing is limiting the blood supply.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    Nah, making it 11 years wouldn't be supported by evidence. The length of the restriction atm is based on the fact that our tests aren't very good at picking up the virus in the initial months following infection (I think it's up to ~5), and the committees have chosen to extend this to a year (due to the effect of outliers). All blood undergoes testing for BBVs: what you're worried about is your test missing one, and then infecting another person because you missed it!
    Are you sure about this? Because HIV is most active during the initial stage of infection when it's replication rate is at its highest and first starts spreading into cells. This is why you only get symptoms in the first two to three weeks when infected with HIV.

    From this I thought it would be easier to detect HIV during initial stage of infection due to:
    1. Having visible symptoms
    2. Virus is most active

    I would like to see more info on this if you have it?
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    (Original post by james22)
    There is still logic to it though, gay people are more likely to have HIV than straight people. The downsides do vastly outweigh the upsides though.
    Really? I thought straight people were more likely to have HIV although I'm just assuming. Do you have a source?

    (Original post by james22)
    This still conforms with what I said, though the probabilities are lower than I expected. My original post still seems valid.
    Well after exactly one year of infection the probability of stage two of HIV is almost 0%, if we consider an exponential increase from year one to year two with 5% of people having faster progression:

    http://i-base.info/ttfa/section-1/18...ferent-people/

    I would be interested to know if you have any more information about how easy it is to detect HIV over time
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    (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
    Really? I thought straight people were more likely to have HIV although I'm just assuming. Do you have a source?
    U.S. AIDS stats by demographic can be found here:

    http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/...01/statistics/

    There's a link to global stats on the same page.
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    why can't they say "we will allow you to donate, but the recipient must be gay too"... that would be acceptable.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    why can't they say "we will allow you to donate, but the recipient must be gay too"... that would be acceptable.
    In what way would that be acceptable?
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    (Original post by Viceroy)
    In what way would that be acceptable?
    if they are unhappy about donors being gay then why should they not allow gays to donate to the gay community ?
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    (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
    Really? I thought straight people were more likely to have HIV although I'm just assuming. Do you have a source?
    Just google it, a gay person if significantly more likely to have HIV than a straight one.

    Well after exactly one year of infection the probability of stage two of HIV is almost 0%, if we consider an exponential increase from year one to year two with 5% of people having faster progression:

    http://i-base.info/ttfa/section-1/18...ferent-people/

    I would be interested to know if you have any more information about how easy it is to detect HIV over time
    The probability if being stage 2 before 1 year is significantly lower (by several orders of magnitude I suspect) than after 1 year.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    if they are unhappy about donors being gay then why should they not allow gays to donate to the gay community ?
    Gay men should be able to donate to anyone anywhere. Blood doesn't have a sexual orientation and not only gay men can have/get AIDS.

    If your logic were to stand, should black people only be able to donate blood to other black people? Whites to whites? Women to women? Short people to short people? If you die because you can't get a transfusion from someone within your race, sexual orientation, and gender, should that be a problem?
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    (Original post by Viceroy)
    Gay men should be able to donate to anyone anywhere. Blood doesn't have a sexual orientation and not only gay men can have/get AIDS.

    If your logic were to stand, should black people only be able to donate blood to other black people? Whites to whites? Women to women? Short people to short people? If you die because you can't get a transfusion from someone within your race, sexual orientation, and gender, should that be a problem?
    i am not saying that i have a problem with donations from gays... i just said wondered why the US are not considering allowing gays to donate to gays.
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    (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
    Are you sure about this? Because HIV is most active during the initial stage of infection when it's replication rate is at its highest and first starts spreading into cells. This is why you only get symptoms in the first two to three weeks when infected with HIV.

    From this I thought it would be easier to detect HIV during initial stage of infection due to:
    1. Having visible symptoms
    2. Virus is most active

    I would like to see more info on this if you have it?
    I'm pretty sure!

    You're right about the initial natural history of HIV: the virus is incredibly active during the initial infection (this is due to the time it takes to develop an efficient immune response). The virus definitely can be detected in these scenarios, by picking up on a certain part of a protein the virus makes, but what happens if someone doesn't go to their GP? Or a sexual health clinic? Because they don't get symptoms, are particularly stoical, or just happen to suffer from them less severely? What happens if the GP misses it? The symptoms will go away, like you said, and this person won't be aware they have HIV. If we test them again, we won't pick up on it! This is because the antibodies (which is what we test after the initial stage) take a while to reach a detectable level in the blood: now for most people, it happens pretty quickly (2-4 weeks), and you can detect those antibodies in the blood (you can see these figures, all explained in understandable terms, here). But for some people, and nobody really knows why (but we know taking post-exposure medication makes it more likely!) it takes longer! A vast majority of people will have detectable antibodies after 3 months (Wikipedia says 97%), but a very small percentage of people take much longer than that to be detectable (even cases in the literature as long as a year, 10 months here, not sure about a percentage who have this, but it's small - <1% surely). It's these people that the blood donor service is worried about (since the rate of transmission from HIV-infected blood is incredibly huge), and it seems to be a method of hedging their bets (especially when you look at it combined with the low transmission risk of a single MSM exposure). There aren't any reported cases (or at least that I know of!) of HIV being undetectable for more than a year using modern methods, and certainly nothing I know to say that there's no difference in detectability between 1 year and 10 years, hence why I think extending the ban past that would be unreasonable, and took issue with the bit I highlighted.

    I think the more pressing issue (rather than, should the ban be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) is the inconsistency. An MSM male in a monogamous relationship who practises safe sex is at a lower risk than a promiscuous heterosexual man or woman, but the former is restricted from donating, and the latter isn't. The tough question to me is: how do we adjust the process to balance the risks properly?

    (Original post by the bear)
    i am not saying that i have a problem with donations from gays... i just said wondered why the US are not considering allowing gays to donate to gays.
    Because the risk of infecting someone with HIV is the same. It would be completely unacceptable to say "this risk is okay to take with straight", but say "but it's an okay risk to take with gays". It would be endangering the health of a population.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    i am not saying that i have a problem with donations from gays... i just said wondered why the US are not considering allowing gays to donate to gays.
    Oh I see. Ok, well, it's because there wasn't a reliable way of testing blood for AIDS in the early 1980s, so gay men were banned from donating. However, at this point, the ban really should be revised as there are better tests in existence now, and all the ban is really doing is limiting the blood supply.

    This isn't just a US thing either -- A lot of other countries have similar policies.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    I'm pretty sure!

    You're right about the initial natural history of HIV: the virus is incredibly active during the initial infection (this is due to the time it takes to develop an efficient immune response). The virus definitely can be detected in these scenarios, by picking up on a certain part of a protein the virus makes, but what happens if someone doesn't go to their GP? Or a sexual health clinic? Because they don't get symptoms, are particularly stoical, or just happen to suffer from them less severely? What happens if the GP misses it? The symptoms will go away, like you said, and this person won't be aware they have HIV. If we test them again, we won't pick up on it! This is because the antibodies (which is what we test after the initial stage) take a while to reach a detectable level in the blood: now for most people, it happens pretty quickly (2-4 weeks), and you can detect those antibodies in the blood (you can see these figures, all explained in understandable terms, here). But for some people, and nobody really knows why (but we know taking post-exposure medication makes it more likely!) it takes longer! A vast majority of people will have detectable antibodies after 3 months (Wikipedia says 97%), but a very small percentage of people take much longer than that to be detectable (even cases in the literature as long as a year, 10 months here, not sure about a percentage who have this, but it's small - <1% surely). It's these people that the blood donor service is worried about (since the rate of transmission from HIV-infected blood is incredibly huge), and it seems to be a method of hedging their bets (especially when you look at it combined with the low transmission risk of a single MSM exposure). There aren't any reported cases (or at least that I know of!) of HIV being undetectable for more than a year using modern methods, and certainly nothing I know to say that there's no difference in detectability between 1 year and 10 years, hence why I think extending the ban past that would be unreasonable, and took issue with the bit I highlighted.

    I think the more pressing issue (rather than, should the ban be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) is the inconsistency. An MSM male in a monogamous relationship who practises safe sex is at a lower risk than a promiscuous heterosexual man or woman, but the former is restricted from donating, and the latter isn't. The tough question to me is: how do we adjust the process to balance the risks properly?
    Interesting thanks for your explanation! I take it you study Biology?

    I wasn't actually being serious about an 11 year ban just exaggerating my point to make a one year no sex ban ridiculous.

    What we need in answer to your question is a way to detect HIV 100% of the time, shouldn't be too tricky considering how far we've advanced medically recently. Especially since blood tests are still fairly accurate, who knows maybe you could find a better way to test for HIV.

    Once we have this method all blood donators should be tested for HIV and gays should be not be limited at all.
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    (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
    Interesting thanks for your explanation! I take it you study Biology?

    I wasn't actually being serious about an 11 year ban just exaggerating my point to make a one year no sex ban ridiculous.

    What we need in answer to your question is a way to detect HIV 100% of the time, shouldn't be too tricky considering how far we've advanced medically recently. Especially since blood tests are still fairly accurate, who knows maybe you could find a better way to test for HIV.

    Once we have this method all blood donators should be tested for HIV and gays should be not be limited at all.
    No, just medicine!

    I know you weren't serious, but I wanted to show why 1 year ban, and any period of time past 1 year, are two very different scenarios.

    You're right, but it is actually a very tricky process! All medical tests suffer from problems of sensitivity and specificity, and it's very hard to find tests that'll catch something 100%. Even harder when your testing for things that change over time: like levels of antibodies, viral protein, viral RNA, etc.

    If we could get such a miracle method, it'd be no problem taking blood from anyone. But unfortunately, we don't! And even if we get it for HIV...we're still stuck with finding said miracle method for other blood-borne viruses.
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    No, just medicine!

    I know you weren't serious, but I wanted to show why 1 year ban, and any period of time past 1 year, are two very different scenarios.

    You're right, but it is actually a very tricky process! All medical tests suffer from problems of sensitivity and specificity, and it's very hard to find tests that'll catch something 100%. Even harder when your testing for things that change over time: like levels of antibodies, viral protein, viral RNA, etc.

    If we could get such a miracle method, it'd be no problem taking blood from anyone. But unfortunately, we don't! And even if we get it for HIV...we're still stuck with finding said miracle method for other blood-borne viruses.
    Ah nice!

    Yeah, it can be tricky when dealing something as smart as HIV. Well I'm counting on you to discover it

    You'll win the nobel prize and be famous so keep that in mind
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    (Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
    Ah nice!

    Yeah, it can be tricky when dealing something as smart as HIV. Well I'm counting on you to discover it

    You'll win the nobel prize and be famous so keep that in mind
    Haha! No chance. Virology isn't my cup of tea, sorry.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
    Haha! No chance. Virology isn't my cup of tea, sorry.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    :cry2:

    Good luck becoming a doctor anyway!
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    of course it should be banned.
    everybody knows that homosexuality is transmitted through blood and bodily fluids. why do you think homosexuals have different colored blood compared to everyone else? multicoloured instead of just red. abomination.
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    I don't agree with the principal but it ultimately comes down to whether or not the US is in need of more blood. If not, then the policy does no real harm.
 
 
 
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