Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

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HylandPaddy
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by HylandPaddy » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:18 pm

aiseiri47 wrote:The increased risk is anal sex - and I just asked the boyfriend: they don't ask a general "have you had anal sex" question.

The issue is one of sexual practise. Anybody who has anal sex, or unprotected sex, or is sexually promiscuous will have a higher incidence of undetected viruses.
Yes, I'm pretty sure that anal sex has the highest risk of transmission. Another reason why gay people might be a risk group is because they're a small subset of the entire population. They are effectively a closed group (gay people tend to only have sex with other gay people) and so any infection would spread fast and there would be a higher proportion of infected persons.
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by funkyderek » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:28 pm

Ironically, the ideal low risk group to donate blood would be Jehovah's Witnesses. :?
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Tulip1
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Tulip1 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 5:48 pm

funkyderek wrote:Ironically, the ideal low risk group to donate blood would be Jehovah's Witnesses. :?
And don't they not refuse to take blood transfusions?
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
Dr Raskolnikov
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:04 am

The idea in the UK is that there will no longer be a lifetime ban, rather a 12 month sex moratorium. Essentially the reason is this:

- When someone is first infected with HIV, they feel like they've got a mild cold, that's all. Meanwhile the virus hijacks the immune system and replicates at a huge rate, creating a "viral load", which lasts for a few weeks, then subsides. The virus becomes essentially dormant.
- Over time, when the person gets a further cold or any kind of mild illness, the immune system becomes active as normal, which has the side effect of releasing more HIV virsuses which kill off the immune system's T-cells. However, most of the time, the viral load is low.
- After about ten years of this repeating, the immune system is effectively shot to hell, and the person develops the final stage of the illness, AIDS.

Hence, the first few weeks after infection are very high risk for passing on the infection, so:

- While it is relatively difficult to contract HIV through "straight" sex, statistically, because the average number and frequency of partners is lower than for the gay population (on average),
- The gay population (on average, relative to the straight population), tend to have sex with multiple partners in a relatively short space of time, and anal sex is more dangerous for passing on virus because of tears / cuts etc., so the risk of passing on the virus during the first infectious weeks is higher.

Finally, the available tests cannot detect the virus in those first weeks after infection, meaning that the blood could be infected but there is no way of knowing.

Conclusion, if you are gay and have had sex in the last 12 months, you might have HIV but the tests might not show this up, so infected blood might get into the system. If you have not had sex in the last 12 months, the test will pick up if there is a problem, so there's no reason why you shoudn't be able to donate.
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bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:32 pm

funkyderek wrote:Not quite.

No, but there is a ban on British people giving blood. Anyone who lived in the UK in the 1990s (or thereabouts, not sure of the exact dates) is prohibited from donating blood here in case they have mad cow disease.
When did that change? There have been campaigns in Ireland attempting to overturn the ban on blood donations from gay men as recently as 2010. I can't find anything online about it being overturned... but also can't see anything on the IBTS site that specificatlly says a gay man can or cannot give blood.

This is what used to be on the IBTS site:
Q. Why does the IBTS not accept donations from men who have sex with men?
A. In line with all blood transfusion services in the developed world, the IBTS refuses to accept blood donations from men who have had oral or anal sex with another male. This policy was first introduced in the early 1980s when it became apparent that HIV could be spread by blood transfusions, and at a time when gay men represented the largest identifiable source of HIV transmission. The introduction of the ban on gay men was adopted before a test for HIV infection in blood donors was developed, and was very successful in reducing transmission of HIV from transfusions.

This policy causes considerable offence: it is clearly discriminatory against gay men, and categorises all gay men as being at increased risk of HIV; it has also been criticised because it seems to single out gay men to the exclusion of other groups in the community who also have an increased risk of acquiring HIV. In recent years heterosexual females have overtaken IV drug users and homosexual men as the largest group of new HIV cases in Ireland.

The IBTS accepts that they are being discriminatory; we discriminate against several groups in the community insofar as we refuse to allow them to donate blood on the basis of perceived increased risk of spreading infections through blood transfusion. These include anyone who has ever been injected with non-prescribed drugs, anyone who has engaged in sex for which they have been paid with money or drugs, people who have lived in Britain or Northern Ireland between 1980 and 1996 (because of the vCJD risk), people who have been in prison in the previous year, and several other categories.
http://web.archive.org/web/200805032341 ... D=2&sID=80
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Tulip1 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:16 pm

In line with all blood transfusion services in the developed world, the IBTS refuses to accept blood donations from men who have had oral or anal sex with another male. This policy was first introduced in the early 1980s when it became apparent that HIV could be spread by blood transfusions, and at a time when gay men represented the largest identifiable source of HIV transmission. The introduction of the ban on gay men was adopted before a test for HIV infection in blood donors was developed, and was very successful in reducing transmission of HIV from transfusions.
But surely they should ban people who had sex in africa or africans too than? That is the continent with the most people having HIV.
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:43 am

Tulip1 wrote:
In line with all blood transfusion services in the developed world, the IBTS refuses to accept blood donations from men who have had oral or anal sex with another male. This policy was first introduced in the early 1980s when it became apparent that HIV could be spread by blood transfusions, and at a time when gay men represented the largest identifiable source of HIV transmission. The introduction of the ban on gay men was adopted before a test for HIV infection in blood donors was developed, and was very successful in reducing transmission of HIV from transfusions.
But surely they should ban people who had sex in africa or africans too than? That is the continent with the most people having HIV.
In the UK, they do ban people who have had sex in Africa (for twelve months IIRC).
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Tulip1 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:44 am

That makes sense then, how about Ireland?

What I don't get is that a lot of gay couples have long term relationships with a single partner and surley they are not a risk group?
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:48 am

Tulip1 wrote:What I don't get is that a lot of gay couples have long term relationships with a single partner and surley they are not a risk group?
+1

That's how you identify thinly veiled bigotry. When it comes to risk analysis type statistics, you can paint a picture just about any way you like by ignoring causation.

The causal group letting down the team are those who partake in permiscuous sex. They fall into the hetero and gay side of the equation. Rather than comparing people grouped by sexual preference, they could have grouped by permiscuity.

It wasn't very long ago that women could get cheaper insurance than Men because a statistical analysis was done grouped by gender and found that men were more dangerous. A more detailed analysis shows that it is young men letting down the team. So why not just make it more expensive for the causal group rather than the entire gender?

By the way, do you think that if statistics showed that men were better drivers than women, that men would be given special insurance discounts? It seems that there are certain groups in society against which it is socially acceptable to openly discriminate.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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Re: Gay men blood donor ban to be lifted in UK

Post by Tulip1 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:21 am

In insurance it has always been commen practice to discriminate. In the Netherlands certain colours of cars had to pay higher rate.

Statistics is miss-used by insurance compagnies to increase their fees. At the end of the day they are businesses.

Do I think it is right... good question. I would not find it right to ask older people for more on health insurance but would find it normal that younger male drivers pay more because they are more likely to have an accident. But would I agree with BMW drivers having to pay more then Toyota drivers? I am not sure.

I don't agree that younger motorbike riders have a Bhp limit but young car drivers don't.

I never thought about this and writing this I seem not to have a very clear opinion. More thinking needed!
Pope says atheists pick & choose their morals. Correct. Today I will be frowning on child abuse & not having a problem with homosexuality.
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