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    (Original post by aja89)
    If you have clean blood, you should be able to donate it. Simple as.
    I think the main problem is that determining whether someone has HIV is not 'simple as'.
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    (Original post by tehsponge)
    Its at a higher incidence because the HIV retrovirus can enter the blood more easily through the mucous membrane of the rectum. Which is a much higher risk factor than promiscuity.
    It is a combination of these factors, not just one on its own. I don't get why my statement was so offensive to you.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    Is the 10 year mark (that you mentioned in the OP) the transition from the early stages to the later stages (i.e. is it strictly necessary for it to be 10 years, rather than 5?) How long does blood store?

    I genuinely don't really understand the theory behind this so apologies for the stupid questions...
    No, it's like 3 months (or 6?Hm) until it is a definitive answer

    and dw,
    ironically I'm revising my HIV PBL as we speak :awesome:
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    (Original post by lekky)
    No, it's like 3-6 months until it is a definitive answer
    In that case, it should be bought down to 1 year since having gay sex (imo) - the 10 year blanket ban seems a little bit superfluous if it can be tested for after as early as 6 months (however, saying that, it is a lot less silly than the blanket 'no homosexuals who have had sex' ban - baby steps and all that.)

    On a side note, you mention that allowing homosexual men who are sexually inactive for at least 10 years donate will increase the risk of HIV in the donor blood supply by 5% - why is it this high? Are the (HIV) tests not particularly reliable? I would have thought it would be a lot lower than that being honest but I have a feeling I'm missing something.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    In that case, it should be bought down to 1 year since having gay sex (imo) - the 10 year blanket ban seems a little bit superfluous if it can be tested for after as early as 6 months (however, saying that, it is a lot less silly than the blanket 'no homosexuals who have had sex' ban - baby steps and all that.)

    On a side note, you mention that allowing homosexual men who are sexually inactive for at least 10 years donate will increase the risk of HIV in the donor blood supply by 5% - why is it this high? Are the (HIV) tests not particularly reliable? I would have thought it would be a lot lower than that being honest but I have a feeling I'm missing something.
    <5%, and I have no idea sorry, just a figure that is continuously being repeated.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    I agree with this in a completely non-homophobic way.

    I would not want my life to be destroyed because a gay man (who shouldn't be giving blood) had HIV he didn't know about and then passed it onto me.

    I'm straight, but I don't take the risk of any STDs by always wearing a condom.

    Obviously, straight people in the UK can just as easily contract HIV but it is definitely more prevalent amongst the homosexual community.

    Its highly unlikely that you would become HIV positive from a blood transfusion.The blood donated is tested before its given to the recipient, if something is found in the blood after testing the donor is contacted and the blood is destroyed.I'm a regular blood donor and I know full well that my donation is checked before someone gets it.
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    (Original post by lekky)
    &lt;5%, and I have no idea sorry, just a figure that is continuously being repeated.
    Oh okay.

    It's a fine line to tread. It's nothing to do with homophobia (so not sure why people are saying earlier in the thread "I'm not homophobic but..." - science doesn't discriminate against sexuality/race/etc.) but more sexual practices in general. Discounting sexually active gay men removes a relatively large demographic who would want to donate blood, but it's in the benefit of the patients requiring transfusions to remove as much as the risk as possible. (It's not about "gay" blood being given to "straight" patients - I am sure a gay man wouldn't want to get contaminated with HIV from a blood transfusion either!!) You have to balance stocks of blood vs. risk of that blood being contaminated, so imo making it 1 year or so (so it's possible for the tests to be used) after last sexual intercourse (and being cleared for HIV, either the donor directly or the blood sample itself) is a good compromise.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    It is a combination of these factors, not just one on its own. I don't get why my statement was so offensive to you.
    It wasn't 'offensive'. I just think its equally a problem (or more so) in heterosexual HIV contraction as it is with homosexual. Then again its almost impossible to measure.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    In that case, it should be bought down to 1 year since having gay sex (imo) - the 10 year blanket ban seems a little bit superfluous if it can be tested for after as early as 6 months (however, saying that, it is a lot less silly than the blanket 'no homosexuals who have had sex' ban - baby steps and all that.)

    On a side note, you mention that allowing homosexual men who are sexually inactive for at least 10 years donate will increase the risk of HIV in the donor blood supply by 5% - why is it this high? Are the (HIV) tests not particularly reliable? I would have thought it would be a lot lower than that being honest but I have a feeling I'm missing something.
    I think its an average of 6 months (probably less actually) but with a high standard deviation - HIV can remain latent for a LONG time, and i guess whilst it is latent it is undetectable? (probably true, but not sure)
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I think its an average of 6 months (probably less actually) but with a high standard deviation - HIV can remain latent for a LONG time, and i guess whilst it is latent it is undetectable? (probably true)
    Ah right, that would make sense - that is also a good argument against my suggestion that the 'waiting period' should be bought down to 1 year. If it's <5% risk after 10 years then I'm sure it'll be much much higher if the waiting period is bought down to only 1 year.
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    (Original post by Annie72)
    Its highly unlikely that you would become HIV positive from a blood transfusion.The blood donated is tested before its given to the recipient, if something is found in the blood after testing the donor is contacted and the blood is destroyed.I'm a regular blood donor and I know full well that my donation is checked before someone gets it.
    No test will ever ever be 100% accurate. False-negatives will occur and this reason for the current regulations.

    Exchange the word gay people with drug users (Whom are elso exempt) and you'll find the debate is fundamentally about inequality.
    I'll be the first to admit it's not fair, but that's the nature of the system and life.
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    As much as HIV is a terrible disease; I'd rather have a blood transfusion, get HIV and have a chance to continue living rather than die because of outdated homophobia.
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    Sexually active heterosexuals are at much lower risk (possibly with the exception of sex with people from sub-Saharan Africa) of contracting HIV, as I have explained above.

    And if you banned sexually active heteros from donating blood, the system would collapse and patients would start dying very quickly.
    But what I'd like to know is if there is a scientific explanation as to why sexually active homosexuals are more likely to catch the virus?
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    I'm surpprised there was a ban in the first place!
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    (Original post by Beska)
    What are the significant barriers against opening up blood donations to everybody; but via the pre-donation questionnaire sorting the donated blood into 'low risk' and 'high risk' categories and the latter getting rigorously tested and re-tested etc.?
    That implies that the rights of the donor to donate should go above the rights of the patient to have the highest safety precautions in place. Rigorously testing high risk units adds unnecessary risk into the production line, reduces efficiency and wastes money on what is already a very costly resource (1 unit of whole blood = £130 to produce). At the end of the day the blood service is there to provide blood to patients, not to make donors feel good about themselves.

    Each one of the barriers is in place for either the donor's health or patient's health, and from the blood services point of view: if they can get sufficient blood with these safety barriers in place why lift them? The larger the supply of donors, the more stringent they can afford to be with safety measures without harming blood stocks.

    This case does provide a precedent for giving donors' rights though, which IMO is far more interesting than any knee-jerk story about supposed homophobia. If more cases follow than the blood service may need to provide scientific proof for their safety restrictions in future, which in some cases are highly debatable (e.g. the rule that people who have received blood since 1980 can't donate). Having said that, I don't think many people will realise the implications of this case and activist groups will probably quieten down now "homophobia"'s been beaten.
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    (Original post by Svenjamin)
    if they can get sufficient blood with these safety barriers in place why lift them?
    Well, they can't - that's the problem. Just today I heard an advert on the radio saying "blood stocks in your area are low - phone this number to donate now - if you don't you are killing a person blah blah emotional blackmail" so obviously there is a blood shortage. As I say, blanket bans need to be lifted and a good risk/benefit ratio needs to be found.
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    (Original post by thegodofgod)
    But what I'd like to know is if there is a scientific explanation as to why sexually active homosexuals are more likely to catch the virus?
    I've heard that you are more likely to get it from anal rather than vaginal.

    However, this does not explain why a promiscuous woman receiving unprotected anal from multiple men can give blood, and a man in a committed relationship who has once had oral sex with a condom cannot.........
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    (Original post by thegodofgod)
    But what I'd like to know is if there is a scientific explanation as to why sexually active homosexuals are more likely to catch the virus?
    The main 3 are: anal sex is more likely to pass it on than vaginal, homosexuals tend to be more promiscuous than average, and pure chance - it just happens to be more predominant in the gay community, and as homosexuals tend to only have sex with other homosexuals the disease tends to stay there.
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    (Original post by lightburns)
    However, this does not explain why a promiscuous woman receiving unprotected anal from multiple men can give blood, and a man in a committed relationship who has once had oral sex with a condom cannot.........
    Because gay people are more likely to have HIV! How many times does it have to be said?

    The other example is an extreme one where the risk is clearly minimal, but asking people specifics about their sexual life is not going to get honest answers and is not worth it
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    People don't have the right to donate blood, so we gay people can't complain of any sort of infringement.
 
 
 
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