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Have you ever thought about giving blood? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Have you ever given blood?
    Yes
    184
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    No, but I would like to
    808
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    No and I do not want to
    311
    20.29%
    I cannot give blood
    230
    15.00%

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    (Original post by navarre)
    I'd like to, but I'd not sure I'm able to, due to the medication I'm on.
    What medication are you on? (If you don't mind saying)

    You can ring 0300 123 23 23 to ask them whether you would be eligible.
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    I am proud to say I have donated 10 times now, and have my 11th donation booked in for 9th March!
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    I would but I can't deal with the needle extracting blood. I'm fine with every other kind of needle. I had a blood test and they couldn't find the blood the first time. Whilst they were trying to find it I could feel the air inside my vein and it was a horrible feeling so I cannot do it.
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    (Original post by BurstingBubbles)
    I agree with this, but I assume it costs a fair amount to screen each donation, and male homosexual activities increase the risk (although I fear this is somewhat outdated) of STIs such as HIV, and therefore it's a cost effective cut. I believe there was some talk about removing this rule though, I'm not sure how far they have got.
    They already screen each donation. It's not like they couldn't, they rely on people's honesty.
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    I'm not allowed but I have ticked the box of allowing my body to be scavenged when I die so that's something.

    I don't like the fact that the NHS still haven't allowed gay men to donate blood! The rule is that they can if they haven't had sex in a year, but even if they have had tests or have been with the same partner for years and they are both clean they cannot donate blood. I'm shock that it's still in place, even with American changing the rules.
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    I'd really like to but don't weigh enough, hopefully one day!
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    Like many others, I'd like to give blood but can't. Too bad, I've got type O blood which is classed as a universal donor
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    (Original post by shadowdweller)
    Are you planning to pay when you need blood too?
    sure
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    I would, but I'm too young. 2 years' time though!
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    (Original post by JBLondon)
    They already screen each donation. It's not like they couldn't, they rely on people's honesty.
    Yes, I am aware, I give blood. What I was saying was that I assume the thinking behind it is that there is a higher risk of HIV (or whatever other things are transmitted), and so more donations would be screened which are not able to be used, which obviously costs more money. It's sad, because I think it would be worth it to gain the donations which would help people's lives, but it will be a cost/funding issue, which I hope they can solve soon.
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    I used to give blood but stopped on medical reasons. Keep trying to re-register but they say there's an error and I'm terrified of speaking on the phone so haven't yet sorted the issue out. I am an organ donor though and on the bone marrow register
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    (Original post by BurstingBubbles)
    What I was saying was that I assume the thinking behind it is that there is a higher risk of HIV (or whatever other things are transmitted), and so more donations would be screened which are not able to be used, which obviously costs more money. It's sad, because I think it would be worth it to gain the donations which would help people's lives, but it will be a cost/funding issue, which I hope they can solve soon.
    I don't think it is cost so much as that until the first 3 months or so of HIV infection it is possible to return a negative result despite the virus being present. After 3 months however the tests are 99.99% accurate. Of course with gay/bi men having a higher chance of contracting HIV (due to the fact that HIV is more prevalent in the gay/bi population), this leads to a greater risk that the NHS could receive a contaminated blood donation from someone who was infected less than 3 months ago.

    Also on the cost side of things you have to remember that at some point people that have contracted HIV are still going to need to get blood tests done anyway, so the cost of that is still there.

    Not that this explains a deferral period of a year.. Why not ask questions like, how many partners have you had in the last X months? How many times have you had unprotected sex in the last X months? When was your last STD test? etc. That way a lot of gay/bi people that are currently banned from donating blood would be able to donate, it would also be possible to use the same questions to rule out risky straight donors from giving blood.
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    (Original post by EdwardBarfield9)
    I would but I can't deal with the needle extracting blood. I'm fine with every other kind of needle. I had a blood test and they couldn't find the blood the first time. Whilst they were trying to find it I could feel the air inside my vein and it was a horrible feeling so I cannot do it.
    You are bound to have blood samples taken again at some point in your life so work on getting over this and then you will be fine to give blood. I took a friend along a couple of years ago who was really scared about it. She managed it right to the 'We're done, now I'm going to remove the needle' when at the mention of needle she fainted. She left it 18 months and tried again and has just managed a second donation without an issue. One bad experience is not a lifetime sentence.
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    I gave blood quite a few times and I'm on the organ donor register.

    Unfortunately I haven't been allowed to donate blood in the past year and still can't now, which I'm gutted about
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    I would love to give blood but unfortunately I can't because my veins are too small. I tried to when I was 17 and fit all the normal criteria but when they tried to find my vein, they had to call several people over because they couldn't find one. They did eventually find one but apparently because it was too small if they tried to take blood, it would clot before they could fill an entire bag. They can't use half bags so it would be pointless me giving blood, though I should still be okay if I ever need blood tests as that doesn't require as much blood. I found out later my mum has the same thing so it seems to run in the family.I suspect this is also the reason why I don't bruise easily.
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    Personally, I am excluded because I have had malaria.

    I am on the organ donor register and I volunteer for clinical trials though.

    (Original post by BurstingBubbles)
    Yes, I am aware, I give blood. What I was saying was that I assume the thinking behind it is that there is a higher risk of HIV (or whatever other things are transmitted), and so more donations would be screened which are not able to be used, which obviously costs more money. It's sad, because I think it would be worth it to gain the donations which would help people's lives, but it will be a cost/funding issue, which I hope they can solve soon.
    The main problem is that HIV testing is not 100% accurate. Currently about 1 person per year is given HIV through a blood transfusion. If restrictions on MSMs, and whilst we're at it also recent immigrants from high risk countries, people who have a partner from a high risk country, heroin addicts etc, were removed we could expect that to increase substantially. In the order of 100-fold.

    If we reached a situation whereby we actually had hospitals running out of blood and people die as a result then removing restrictions would be a very reasonable measure. We are, fortunately, not at that stage.

    (Original post by BurstingBubbles)
    I agree with this, but I assume it costs a fair amount to screen each donation, and male homosexual activities increase the risk (although I fear this is somewhat outdated) of STIs such as HIV, and therefore it's a cost effective cut. I believe there was some talk about removing this rule though, I'm not sure how far they have got.
    It is unfortunately not outdated. There was a brief period where the number of cases of HIV in the heterosexual community outnumbered that in the MSM community, but that has reversed again. Some areas of central London have a 50% infection rate among the gay community.

    We're also seeing a resurgence of previously rare diseases like syphilis, again largely driven by sites like Gaydar and similar. Public Health England is going to start advertising on these sites soon to try to stop the epidemic.

    (Original post by Dannyboy2015)
    Not that this explains a deferral period of a year.. Why not ask questions like, how many partners have you had in the last X months? How many times have you had unprotected sex in the last X months? When was your last STD test? etc. That way a lot of gay/bi people that are currently banned from donating blood would be able to donate,
    That's pretty labour-intensive, and would probably put a lot of low-risk donors off. I also suspect a questionnaire designed to identify, amongst other things, men who have had lots of homosexual sex will not really address concerns regarding possible homophobia.

    it would also be possible to use the same questions to rule out risky straight donors from giving blood.
    Already done to an extent - exclusion criteria regarding recent travel and partner's country of origin and whether you've injected drugs are designed to identify high risk groups for HIV. And again I don't think a super-detailed sexual questionnaire is exactly going to help donor numbers.
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    I've pledged my body parts but can't give blood unfortunately (as I have ME/CFS)
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    We're also seeing a resurgence of previously rare diseases like syphilis, again largely driven by sites like Gaydar and similar. Public Health England is going to start advertising on these sites soon to try to stop the epidemic.
    Is there actual evidence to support this?


    For myself, I actually wouldn't mind paying for my blood to be screened so that I could donate; that's if it really is about the cost.
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    (Original post by JBLondon)
    Is there actual evidence to support this?
    Is there direct evidence that men who use Gaydar subsequently engage in risky activities? I think that mostly remains private :p:

    But seriously, I don't think there is quantifiable evidence linking specific websites to the current outbreaks of syphillis and rise of HIV in the gay community no. However its clear that anyone using these websites to have anonymous sex with someone they know very little about is going to be high risk by definition, regardless of what protection was or wasn't used.

    Interestingly, data on this topic is notoriously hard to get because a) people refuse to participate in studies but moreso b) even the data that is available - like number of infections diagnosed by sexual health clinic - is flawed because people can come a long (long) way to come to a clinic where no one will recognise them. And the anonymity is such that no age, address, occupation, nothing, is available to draw correlations. All that's available is what the patient tells the doctor, and anecdotally websites facilitating casual hookups comes up a lot.

    For myself, I actually wouldn't mind paying for my blood to be screened so that I could donate; that's if it really is about the cost.
    Its not, its about the accuracy. HIV tests have false negatives.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Is there direct evidence that men who use Gaydar subsequently engage in risky activities? I think that mostly remains private :p:

    But seriously, I don't think there is quantifiable evidence linking specific websites to the current outbreaks of syphillis and rise of HIV in the gay community no. However its clear that anyone using these websites to have anonymous sex with someone they know very little about is going to be high risk by definition, regardless of what protection was or wasn't used.
    I agree that these kind of apps encourage casual and possibly risky sex, but this isn't limited to MSM. Plenty of people I know go on Tinder etc and have casual hetero sex.

    (Original post by nexttime)
    Its not, its about the accuracy. HIV tests have false negatives.
    Yes, exactly. My (not well expressed) point was that it's not about the money.

    I don't disagree with the facts - it's a fact that the MSM community has a higher risk of HIV and other infections. I, as someone who has sex with men and women, have regular check-ups, moreso than the hetero people I know that have casual sex. I'm also a lot safer in practice.

    False negatives can happen just as easily with hetero people's donations; ultimately the facts (at the moment) just about support the ban, but that doesn't stop me feeling angry about it.

    As a side note, I don't like people who post self-congratulatory photos of themselves giving blood all over social media. Selfless acts don't need validation.
 
 
 
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