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    I'd be interested to see the exact statistic for hetero/homosexual people with HIV.

    If it's a 90/10% split, then going by the fact that roughly 1/10 are homosexual (apparently), then there's no problem.
    But if the split is 51% heterosexual to 49% homosexual, then obviously there's a much higher risk of HIV as a homosexual, and obviously the ban makes sense, as a precautionary measure.

    That said, a 10 year gap is surely enough to discern whether or not someone is HIV positive, so I'm all for this change. The real problem is lack of disclosure. I'm sure there are plenty of homosexual men out there that want to donate blood, but if there IS a time delay in the virus showing up, then it's unfair on anyone for them to be donating blood just in case...
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    (Original post by munn)
    I'd be interested to see the exact statistic for hetero/homosexual people with HIV.
    It depends on the country and the survey. In the US around 50% of cases are in MSMs (men who have sex with men). In the UK the figure is lower, but largely because most heterosexual carriers are first-generation immigrants. Only 9% of cases in heterosexuals are thought to be contracted in the UK, and of that 62% were due to having sex with someone not from the UK, most commonly from africa (which makes you ineligible to give blood in itself) . The UK Health Protection Agency estimates that 80% of infections acquired whilst within the UK are within the gay community.

    http://www.aidsmap.com/Heterosexual-.../page/1420161/
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Can sickle cell sufferers not take normal blood? How come - autoimmune? :confused:
    The best match tends to be with people within your own ethnic group. And lots of sicklers will have had multiple transfusions and end up with complex antibodies, making an exact match even more important.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    That is not the problem here - if it were then we would just get all gay people to be tested before giving blood.

    The problem is that the test is not 100% effective, and that it it pretty much useless if the virus has been recently caught. You do not want to take blood from someone at risk of HIV.
    One thing that puzzles me is that all donated blood IS screened for all kinds of diseases anyway, so there is absolutely no risk in accepting gay blood that has been screened. There would not be any extra costs either. I bet it has to do with some religious groups who are scared of "becoming gay". Otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever.

    And the idea of a gay guy not having sex for 10 years is just laughable.

    The problem with this type of policies is that it stigmatises gay people and , worse than that, it takes the attention away from the fact that straight sex is just as dangerous. You also have to look at other factors. For example, there are loads of people who have HIV and don't even know it. One of the reasons why the gay figures look so high is because most gay people know how they may have been exposed to a risk and therefore are more likely to get tested than straight people. So the gay figures would look proportionately higher than the straight figures simply because of different levels of awareness.
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    (Original post by rudyrabbit)
    One thing that puzzles me is that all donated blood IS screened for all kinds of diseases anyway, so there is absolutely no risk in accepting gay blood that has been screened. There would not be any extra costs either. I bet it has to do with some religious groups who are scared of "becoming gay". Otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever.
    It's because HIV takes a significant length of time after the person is infected (average 3 months but can be much longer) to show up on our current blood tests, so even if a sample is passed as "clear" it could still contain the virus if the person has not yet seroconverted. Do you really think that the NBS, whose guidelines are made by scientists and/or doctors really think that you can "catch gay" from a blood donation?
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    It's because HIV takes a significant length of time after the person is infected (average 3 months but can be much longer) to show up on our current blood tests, so even if a sample is passed as "clear" it could still contain the virus if the person has not yet seroconverted. Do you really think that the NBS, whose guidelines are made by scientists and/or doctors really think that you can "catch gay" from a blood donation?
    Of course not, that was just a stupid joke.

    But are you telling me that they don't wait for 3 months until after "straight blood" has been collected to transfuse it, meaning that people are at risk? Somehow I find that hard ot believe.
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    (Original post by rudyrabbit)
    Of course not, that was just a stupid joke.

    But are you telling me that they don't wait for 3 months until after "straight blood" has been collected to transfuse it, meaning that people are at risk? Somehow I find that hard ot believe.
    They don't wait 3 months - the cells would not keep in a good condition for that long. I'm not sure of the exact figures but most donations are, IIRC, used within a week or two. Platelets are used even quicker than that, but I think FFP/cryoprecipitate can be kept for longer.

    And even if they did, it wouldn't change anything, because the test would still be negative. What they test for is antibodies to HIV, and if the blood is no longer in the body, it won't develop antibodies. This is why they use pre-donation screening so that people who are at higher risk of having HIV do not donate.
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    (Original post by rudyrabbit)
    One thing that puzzles me is that all donated blood IS screened for all kinds of diseases anyway, so there is absolutely no risk in accepting gay blood that has been screened.
    :facepalm:


    Wake up...
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    Why are people so desperate to donate blood anyway? If someone told me I couldn't donate I really wouldn't be bothered - I am very grateful to those that do, and understand why people want to do it, but it confuses me as to why people would make a big deal out of not being allowed.

    Although it's probably only a small minority of gay people who have HIV, it's obviously not worth them taking blood from that group of people because of the amount that isn't useful for donations. There is no other reason why they would stop sexually active gay men from donating. However, there doesn't seem to be any reason for a blanket ban, as someone who hasn't had sex in 10 years is likely to know if they have HIV or not. Maybe it should be reduced to 2 years or something else more reasonable.
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    (Original post by rudyrabbit)
    One thing that puzzles me is that all donated blood IS screened for all kinds of diseases anyway, so there is absolutely no risk in accepting gay blood that has been screened. There would not be any extra costs either. I bet it has to do with some religious groups who are scared of "becoming gay". Otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever.
    Like i said in the post you quoted, the test is not 100% effective, especially if its within 3 months of infection There is a very real risk, and it makes perfect sense.

    The point you made about number of unknown cases is true, and i'd guess the majority are in heterosexuals (but by no means all, especially as the test is not effective if its been caught recently. Including the estimate of unknown cases, 42% of HIV cases are in homosexuals in the UK.

    There are also some pretty shocking stats to come out of one survey - 23% of gay men under 20 admitted receiving unprotected anal sex from someone they knew had HIV. 80% of HIV cases caught in the UK are in the gay community. Awareness is improving but... WTH!?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    There are also some pretty shocking stats to come out of one survey - 23% of gay men under 20 admitted receiving unprotected anal sex from someone they knew had HIV. 80% of HIV cases caught in the UK are in the gay community. Awareness is improving but... WTH!?
    This is all hearsay (though from doctors who've worked in GUM in areas where this happens, not just "my mum told me") but I believe there is a small subculture of men who deliberately TRY to get infected so that then they don't have to worry about it any more, and can get support/friendship/sex from other people in the gay HIV+ community.

    I don't know from the figures you quote whether that scary 23% is because of that or because, like teenagers straight and otherwise, they just "forgot/couldn't be bothered/didn't have" a condom.
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    This is a step in the right direction, still I object to the idea of any homosexual not being allowed to donate if they have had sex within ten years. Is that even if they have used protection every time?
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    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    This is a step in the right direction, still I object to the idea of any homosexual not being allowed to donate if they have had sex within ten years. Is that even if they have used protection every time?
    It is even if they have used protection yes.

    So you would accept more people getting HIV in order to achieve 'equality'?
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    The twisting of stats in this thread is pretty shameful.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    It is even if they have used protection yes.

    So you would accept more people getting HIV in order to achieve 'equality'?
    What I don't accept is the blanket generalisation of homosexuals and the "guilty until proven innocent" stance this country has had towards homosexuals on the topic of giving blood.
    What I would prefer to see is an allowance of homosexuals to give blood, even those who have had sex within the last ten years. After all ten years is a long time to go without sex, especially if you have feel like you have to go that long without sex just to give blood.

    Why not just introduce an effective way of testing over a series of months before the person gives blood to make sure they are "clean?"
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    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    Why not just introduce an effective way of testing over a series of months before the person gives blood to make sure they are "clean?"
    If only it were that simple! Current tests simply cannot detect HIV in its early stages, and in some cases these 'early stages' can last many years.
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    (Original post by jk1986)
    The twisting of stats in this thread is pretty shameful.
    such as?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    such as?
    Not aimed at you, but several in the thread have tried to use the proportion of HIV carriers that are heterosexual to disprove the fact that sexually active homosexual men are higher risk.

    Take for example bluejokers post quoted at the top of the page. Clearly misleading. A meaningful comparison could be made with the proportion of homosexual men that carry HIV compared with the proportion of heterosexuals that carry.


    Edit - my opinion on the ban: I have to go along with what the experts are recommending, since they have all the information. I'd be interested to see the figures for blood supply and demand. If there is an excess in supply then no need to let homosexuals donate, cheaper on the NHS not to bother, nothing against them but it's money that could be spent elsewhere with less risk of passing on HIV.
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    (Original post by jk1986)
    Not aimed at you, but several in the thread have tried to use the proportion of HIV carriers that are heterosexual to disprove the fact that sexually active homosexual men are higher risk.

    Take for example bluejokers post quoted at the top of the page. Clearly misleading. A meaningful comparison could be made with the proportion of homosexual men that carry HIV compared with the proportion of heterosexuals that carry.
    ah ok then, although even then that would not be a fair comparison as most of the cases in heterosexuals are not eligible anyway due to the ban on people from sub-saharan africa and their sexual partners donating.

    (Original post by jk1986)
    Edit - my opinion on the ban: I have to go along with what the experts are recommending, since they have all the information. I'd be interested to see the figures for blood supply and demand. If there is an excess in supply then no need to let homosexuals donate, cheaper on the NHS not to bother, nothing against them but it's money that could be spent elsewhere with less risk of passing on HIV.
    Currently the supply of blood is adequate, but falling. However, i think they would rather try measures like increased advertising and even paying people to donate blood before they would let sexually active homosexual men donate - its simply too risky.
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    (Original post by Tommer)
    My mistake. It isn't talking about gay men directly, though. You could be gay, never have had anal sex and therefore be able to give blood.
    Indeed, although the point of clarification still stands.
 
 
 

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