July 8th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

As blood donations decline, U.S. ban on gay donors is examined

By Jen Christensen, CNN

(CNN) - The American Red Cross says power outages created by recent storms in the East and Midwest cut blood donations, which were already low this summer. In June there was a nationwide shortfall, with donations down more than 10% across the country.

"We are asking people to please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit us at redcrossblood.org to find a way to donate if they can," said Stephanie Millian, Red Cross director of biomedical communications. "We need people's help."

One group that would like to help, but legally can't, may be moving one step closer to eligibility. Since the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic decimated their community, gay men - or MSMs (men who have sex with men) as they are called by federal agencies –– have not been allowed to donate blood. In June, a group of 64 U.S. legislators led by Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services encouraging it to move forward with a study that may lead to the end of the decades-old ban.

"We remain concerned that a blanket deferral of MSM for any length of time both perpetuates the unwarranted discrimination against the bisexual and gay community and prevents healthy men from donating blood without a definitive finding of added benefit to the safety of the blood supply," the letter said.

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Filed under: Health • History • How we live • Sexual orientation
soundoff (430 Responses)
  1. Lewis

    As long as the blood is tested thoroughly before placing in a blood bank, I don't have an issue with anyone giving blood.

    Fortunately, I'm lucky. My wife and I are the same blood type. So if she needs some or vice versa, we always have each other.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lewax00

      But the same can't happen to straight people? Now who's ignorant...

      July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAT

      Well, that works as long as you only need one pint.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. justinbianco

    It's too broad a stroke—a gay person can have very low risk while a straight person can be very high risk. The problem is that simply being gay is only one facet of risk, and should be taken into account as such, not used as an absolute answer. I certainly hope that more than orientation is taken into account should I ever need a transfusion.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • htk

      This is purely nonsense, the statistics prove otherwise and I would rather play my life with the best odds. Newly infected individual may not have any HIV antibodies to detect, hence the blood can pass the test but still be contagious.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GaPeach

    How do you know if they are gay or not when they give blood? Maybe they just don't answer the question that they are? Should be a simple way to just test the blood and use it. I don' think anyone will become "gay" from it and I would like to think they screen all blood!!

    July 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      They do.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ole

      All the blood may be tested, but the test is not 100% accurate. If it were, they would not ask all the questions they do and they would not give you a number to call if you change your mind afterward about using your blood. No test is fullproof.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. katolungile

    Allah is a smart man.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. katolungile

    Yes, b/c it's contagious and you don't want to get it.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Not again

    You already know what we think of your fantasy man and his virgins

    July 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Not again

    HOW PERFECT! So if the ban is lifted then the morons, religious fanatics, conservatives and haters who despise gays will themselves be obliged to decline blood " tainted" with gay blood. PERFECT!!!!!

    July 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • rodboy

      Just ask a friends or relative to donate for you if you need it. It is done all the time to lower costs and better blood. Even teens now have all kinds of stuff going on.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Iranian

    Gays should be persecuted and sentenced to death!

    July 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not again

      I'm sure you're an expert

      July 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheLotusPhoenix

      I TRULY hope you are not serious.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrClean

      I say give them an island to go live on.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nagrad

    Of course they should be allowed to donate. It's discriminatory otherwise, and frankly the basis for it (increased HIV risk) is BS at this point anyway – its not the "gay disease" it was considered to be in the 80's. Frankly, let them donate and test the blood – which they should be doing for EVERYONE anyway.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • randoid1234

      A CDC study done in 2010 shows that it is 44 times more likely for a gay man to be infected than other men.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • really


        July 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • MrClean

        Wake up Really, he just did gave you the source, read again.

        July 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Les

        Exactly which study would that be? An exhaustive search of the CDC website showed no such study was done. Simply saying "a study was done" is not revealing the source. Citation and author, please.

        July 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • randoid1234

        The studies are on the CDC press release page. One was done on March 10th 2010 and the other was September 23rd. It's the same source I gave you before.

        July 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Not again

    So glad you're not writing policy

    July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. seb

    Pretty sure they want to donate blood for the same reason any giving American would. What a silly question.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    Testing all the blood is a nice theory.
    But the fact is that It is simply cost prohibitive to 100% test all blood donations for every conceivable disease. They HAVE to rely on medical facts, statistics, recent history, and lifestyle to prevent blood supply contamination.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • EMcK

      All donations are tested. That's the SOP. If you'd read the Red Cross website, you'd know that.

      But then again, you're not worried about facts.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Robert

    Heck no! Why should we give all of these special priveleges to these people just because they've chosen to live a perverse lifestyle and force its acceptance down the the rest of our throats in a vein attempt to deal with their own guilt and disgrace? If we allow this, the innocent will pay with their lives when they contract HIV from a hospital blood transfusion. They've been giving it to each other up the butt for years. Now they want to give it to the rest of us up the butt.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not again

      Really Robert, just who is shoving what down your noisy throat other than your foot? Your hatred is perverse.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • mummy

        it is not hatred...just reality....Gays, Blacks, and Hispanics are the ones that hate white people.

        July 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • overed

      Not to worry Robert. Your head is so far up your alimentary canal there's no room for anything else.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheLotusPhoenix

      Ignorance shining through.......

      July 9, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrClean

      I totally agree Robert.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pinto

    Gays should be allowed to donate blood, but only if the recipients are also gay.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Azcat87

      i think if you like to donate but you would have to take a hiv test every 6 months paid by state aleast, if gays want to donate. o in my opion everyone including gays to take hiv test as a requirement to donate blood.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gramin

        That's irrelevant. ALL blood donations are tested before being introduced into the blood supply.

        July 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • htk

        There are too many shortcomings in these test, most test for HIV antibodies which would not be detected in newly infected people. Statistically gays have an inordinately high distribution of disease. The cost of testing one pint is $400. It's simply not prudent to do so.

        July 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      OK, let's do that.

      When the next shortage rolls in and you need blood, just be aware that the "gay" stockpile is off limits to you.

      Do you see the problem here?

      July 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrClean

      I agree with HTK

      July 9, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert

    Heck no! They've been giving it to each up the butt for years. Now they want to give it to the rest of us up the butt.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |

    We live in 2012 where there are whole hospitals that have bloodless surgeries. We just have Dr's that just are not up-to-date in the new tecnology. Dr's hang onto thier old practices and poison thier patiens with tanted blood. Bloodless surgeries is the here and now. HIV has a window period for testing. You may test negative but you have to be retested again in 6mths. In that time you could have. donated your blood hundreds of times...and it be negative.....And its not just HIV
    you have 200.000 red blood cells dying each second. blood stored for just 1hr is 72,000.000 dead blood cells....thats being put into YOUR body. and thats not the hormones and antibodies that are also breaking down in stored blood. So your sick and your body is trying to heal itself and you just put all that dead matter into it to fight off more......

    July 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. johnny

    i am a gay man and i donated once. i don't remember the nurse reconfirming or letting me know that if i was gay, i am banned. i donated and they took my blood and i've been sent emails and mails in regards to going back and donating. now that i know i am banned, i'm not going to donate. your loss.
    but i do feel that all blood, be it from gay or straight should be examined. straight people, just like gay, can contract any disease.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • electstat

      Whose lose? Do you really think you are hurting the Red Cross or that person whose life may depend on your blood?

      July 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Raymond

    I really thought that ALL of the blood was tested. I am gay and have been HIV
    positive for 25 years, don't lift the ban.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      I work in a blood bank. All of the blood IS tested.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  19. barribee

    I am a straight man originally from England. I have been in this country for almost 30 years. I have offered to donate blood but have always been refused due to Mad Cow Disease. I have never been near a mad cow ( other than my ex), can they not test my blood before it is used? I guess the answer is the same as it is for AIDS.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • randoid1234

      According to the red cross website, there is no blood test for Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stephanie

        Perhaps there is no test, but if more than a decade has past and the donor is showing no symptoms, what are the odds seriously?

        July 9, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  20. SDlady

    I would like to donate blood but cannot because I may have spent a total of 3 months of my life, over 15 years ago, in a country affected by the Mad Cow outbreak in Europe (Northern Ireland). I have family there and visited many times during my childhood. Thus I am seen as a potential carrier of Mad Cow. I think this ban should be lifted or significantly narrowed first!.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • barribee

      Just posted something similar!

      July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Facts

    HIV rates more than doubled in a study of Gay men in San Francisco from 1997-2001. Look what the LA Times said:

    "We're all concerned about what's going on in San Francisco," said Robert Janssen, director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    "The data from San Francisco is compelling evidence that there are increases in risk behavior among gay men that seem to be going on in other cities as well. And this could ultimately lead to higher rates of HIV incidence, which we're all concerned about."

    July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jun

      The blood is tested for HIV and other diseases, so that data is not irrelevant.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jun

        Oops that "not" was unnecessary.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not again

      Um, that data is twenty years out of date.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      An 11 yr. old study from a single city is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT in this discussion. More recent studies show that HIV and STDs are increasing ALARMINGLY in straight populations.and incidents in the gay community are actually declining. Young single straight women and men are responsible for most of the increase that is occurring today. The amount of ignorance shown about this subject is absurd. With updated info at anyone's fingertips on the web, there is no excuse for the drivel flowing out of some of the pie holes on this blog (or any other).

      July 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  22. andy666

    THANK you for just a smidget of sanity in this pool of misinformed comments. Wow, never seen so meny ignorant comments in one place before. Crazy.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jun

      I think that it's just one troll posting against the lift.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  23. andy666

    Oh, read some science for heavens sake..

    July 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  24. noone

    No need to put the blood supply at risk for the liberal progressive social experiment.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      I really hope you need a transfusion one day and the only blood available is that from a hom..oose....xual. Then you can just turn that down and explain to your doctor why. CUZ YOU'RE A BIGOT.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • noone

        tell me again how tolerant of diverse opinions you are.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Judy

        Now settle down, it's obvious that you're both jerks, no need in determining who is right.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • electstat

        So now you are suddenly attacking an entire faith? That's tolerance.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      I have to agree with you, noone. I would rather bleed to death than be given infected blood.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not again

        GOP to you: let em die!

        July 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • overed

        OK by me.

        July 9, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Rick

    Why is it "bigotry" to want to keep a deadly disease out of the blood supply ?
    Maybe we shouldn't "discriminate" against donors who have rabies, or leukemia either ?

    It seems to me that the only "ignorance" is when we refuse to acknowledge medical and statistical FACTS.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I lived in England in the mid 90's. I haven't been able to donate blood since, even for my own son's surgery, who also lived there. I think it's time to stop asking for special treatment so these "people' feel better about their choices.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      They test the blood, if a donor's blood is infected then they get put on a list where they cannot donate anymore.

      It isn't like the blood goes straight into the bag and then put back into someone else. Hell I can't donate because of a false positive and they won't take my name off of the list even after 8 negatives (HepC not HIV)

      July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rick

        You better go check the facts.
        All blood is not tested; and HIV tests are not 100% revealing, especially in the case of recent inferection.
        So, sorry, but it is simple scientific and medical caution, not "bigotry".

        July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      Because you assume that ALL gays have dangerous diseases.

      That assumption is not only wrong, but ignorant and irresponsible at the same time.

      Hey but I guess it's a 2-way street right? So it is fair for me to say that all christians and catholics are pedophile protecting, child mo..le..st..ing bigots right? 10 year olds are getting their sh...yt pushed in by creepy old men and you want to vilify gays? I want what you and your pastor are smoking...oh wait, no i don't, you smoke 10 year old pole.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rick

        No, I DO NOT assume anything.
        I know that the statistics show a VERY MUCH HIGHER PROBABILITY that Gay men will have HIV......and all blood is not tested.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan E


      "Why is it "bigotry" to want to keep a deadly disease out of the blood supply ?" It's not, but the ban is not for HIV infected people, its strictly for gays and lesbians. I am a gay man and am HIV negative. My chances of getting HIV are 100% equal to a straight persons chances. In fact, more straight people have HIV than gay people, but what the media that hyped GRID (Gay Related Infectious Disease – what it was called before AIDS) never died down and the concept of AIDS became synonymous with gays because back in the day, gays did not need to use condoms to prevent pregnancy and were therefor less likely to use them at all and spread many STDs.

      The point is, the ban, prevents me from giving life saving blood, though I am HIV negative, as are most of my gay friends as well!!

      It seems to me that the only "ignorance" is when we refuse to acknowledge medical and statistical FACTS.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      It is bigotry because the single source of the majority of HIV-AIDs cases are occurring in the straight population. Using your logic straights should also be banned from giving blood. If tests to detect the disease were so inaccurate in TODAY'S world the FDA would not have approved a home testing kit which they did do a few days ago. Almost all of the comments on this blog have been based on old, out dated and misinterpreted data, as well as mythologies that have no place in an intelligent discussion of this issue..

      July 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Rick

    Gays want to infect the blood supply. They believe that the more people who get AIDS, them ore it will be considered an acceptable "mainstream disease" and the more funding will be given to find a cure.
    There has never been a time in previous history when society was prevented from quaranteening a deadly disease for purely "politically correct" reasons. There has never been a time in previous history that society has been forced to tolerate a deadly disease whose prevention is possible with 100% certainty: simple moral behavior.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • susan

      Rick...Rick...Rick.. You may officially be the most ignorant person on a message board I have ever read. Bless your heart you sad little man. I will pray for you.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • firebrand

        Well, sorry Susan, the moderators didn't like the enlightening link I sent, but don't worry, here is your logical fallacy:

        ad hominem
        You attacked your opponent's character or personal traits instead of engaging with their argument.

        Ad hominem attacks can take the form of overtly attacking somebody, or more subtly casting doubt on their character or personal attributes. The desired result of an ad hom attack is to undermine one's opponent without actually having to engage with their argument or present a compelling argument of one's own.

        Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn't married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

        July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      another sad, ignorant individual – so sad Rick

      July 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  27. NODAT1

    if the ban is lifted then those who lifted it to include family member should be injected with a sample of blood donated by a gay doner ever week after all it is safe correct!!!!!

    July 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  28. sjenner

    You confirm the ban is motivated, at least on the populist level, by pure bigotry.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DontPretend

      It actually has to do with the increased percentage of HIV amongst gays.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maya

        Correction: It USED to be motivated by higher incidence of HIV among gay men, back when they didn't have a reliable way of detecting the virus in donated blood. Now that all donor blood is checked, it is pretty clear that this continued ban is motivated by nothing but irrational bigotry and hysteria.

        July 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • lexe71

      Disliking perversion is not "bigotry"

      July 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • gp

        Not if you keep it to yourself... it's when you attack other groups that it becomes a problem.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Infidel

    Keep the ban for sure. We do not want to contaminate our blood supply in the USA....!!!

    July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregory

      The blood supply has had there infections. You just don't here about it. Us gays are not the problem. People whom have been able to give blood. Since the 80's when we couldn't have infected the blood supply. Think about it. Men and woman whom sell there bodies. They sell there plasma. All you have to do is pass an HIV test. And that's it. You really don't know what in the hell you are taken about.. Infidel's ha ha ha.. YOu make me laugh my Young friend. And if you are not young then you are immature.

      July 10, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  30. c s

    Blood transfusions are sometimes necessary but are they being too used too often? Unless a person has had significant blood loss or a destruction of red blood cells, transfusion with other fluids should be used. Blood has a limited shelf life and so it must be used or discarded. Dr Alonzo J. Shadman did over 20,000 surgeries and never used any blood transfusion and never lost a patient. Do a web search and read about it.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Cowboyz

    AIDS is not a Gay disease. Educate yourself with science. Leave Gods judgement to God and not to a man made interpretation ..

    July 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Cowboyz, are you really that ignorant? How on earth did you think AIDS all began?!?

      It is YOU who needs to go back to school!

      July 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • andy666

        How do you think AIDS began? Sounds like you need the education here...

        July 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • tm

        Actually, both HIV-1 and HIV-2 are believed to have originated in non-human primates in West-central Africa and were transferred to humans (a process known as zoonosis) in the early 20th century.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Fredericks

      AIDS isn't even a contagious disease - it's a common misconception. AIDS is as contagious as race (in other words, you can't "catch" skin color, you can only be born with it in your genetics).

      July 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Scott B

    Why is this even a question? Oh, we're in the US of Derp.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  33. David

    We can detect AIDS far better than we could 30 years ago. Also plenty of straight people get AIDS as well. I say "why not?"

    July 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      Straight people have their own risk assessment profile. Not all straight people are allowed to donate either.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      obamacare has nothing to do with this issue. Before obamacare you could not refuse blood because it might come from someone who is in an at risk community (african american, haitan, vietnamese, etc). I understand (but do not agree with) opposition to lifting the ban but lets at least keep the discussion to relevant issues, they have considered lifting the ban several times before obama was even elected.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rick

        Obamacare ==> Forced universal coverage.
        Obama support of gay marriage ==> forced universal coverage of AIDS "partners" and all the associated problems that come with a compromised immune system.
        ==> Castastrophic escalation ofhealth care costs mandating even higher taxes and government control.

        There is a relation and an agenda.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack h

      there are two tests for hiv. the antibody test gives a positive result within 3 months after exposure for 97% of those tested.. it is the most comonly used test and the test the red cross uses. an RNA test can detect hiv directly but is very expensive and still takes 9-11 for the test to give a positive result. that leaves a big window for contaminated blood to enter the supply. THE BAN MUST STAY IN PLACE!

      July 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maya

        Then shouldn't we ban black women from donating, since they are more likely to be infected with HIV than members of the general population?

        July 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jack 1

    I just read this...If the ban is lifted altogether, we run into the problem that our current lab test can detect an HIV infection only if it's been at least 10 days since exposure. That means that someone who just became infected with HIV could come in to donate blood and test negative. Again, that's more of a possibility with a higher-risk population.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • justin

      One could make the same arguement against african-americans, vietnamese, haitian, and homeless communities donating. All of these communities have higher rates, we use a system of questionaries to supplement the lab tests to insure recently infected people do not contribute to the blood supply.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  35. sjenner

    Because all clinics must test blood donations for blood borne pathogens before processing them into the blood supply, why does the government continue to ban donations from gay or bi men? I'm confused on the medical necessity of the ban, even if it may have been medically justified at the time it was implimented?

    July 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      because hiv can lay dormant for up to one year. there is no test that confirms hiv is in the blood, the test only confirmes HIV ANTIGENS. so if the hiv had not infected the donor at the time of donation, the test would be negetive. then someone who recieves that blood could be infected.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  36. christine

    I don't think there should be blanket discrimination against anyone. ALL blood is tested I assume, so why does it matter who donated it? "Straight" people have a much higher chance of being HIV+/AIDS infected than gay people.

    If my life is ever on the line and I need blood – I will thank from the bottom of my heart whoever donated it.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris S

      Just FYI, straight people DO NOT have the same chance of contracting HIV. I don't support the ban, but I still realize the FACT that gay people do have a higher risk of contracting HIV than straight people. That alone is not an excuse for the ban. But your ignorance is disappointing, nonetheless.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      In fact, the probability of straight people contracting AIDS is virtually negligible. When you hear statistics about things like the "fastest growing group for AIDS infection" it is because like 2 people had it last year and 4 people got it this year. That means it "increased by 100%"
      But it is still an insignificant number of actual people compared to the hundreds of thousands of gay men who are infected and will become infected this year. The probability that a gay man will be infected with AIDS is vastly higher than any straight person.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  37. jack

    you can't even give tained blood to hiv+ people. there are many different strains of hiv. giving a different strain to someone hiv positive would kill them very quickly because their immine system is allready weak and they have no defense against the new strain.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Evan

    Im HIV+. I would want the Ban to stay.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack 1

      Good luck to you

      July 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  39. jack

    it's wrong ifto remove the ban because of gay pressure. you cannot take chances with the blood suppy and infect innocent people. keep all the banns in place and start paying people to donate blood. once people have been cleared in the system as disease free, they can be paid for thier blood. one way for decent people to earn a living. the red cross doesn't give that blood away for free. they charge around $600 a pint.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Consider

    Should not every precaution be taken to ensure the safety of the blood supply?

    July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • The obvious

      anyone that so much as tried an injectible drug, health care professionals, anyone ever given a transfusion, anyone that has ever been stuck with a needle and didn't see it get unwrapped from its original package, and Elmo.... Should all be banned too then.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • randoid1234

        Most of those people are banned. You don't give blood that often do you?

        July 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  41. jack

    Why not just mark it GAY BLOOD and let the recipient decide at the time of need. Who knows, Maybe it will become popular.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jun

      YEP. Exactly what i suggested. If there is no straight blood and the person doesn't want gay blood, then let the person die.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  42. epluribus

    Yes We don't need the blood supply contaminated with AIDS

    July 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp of arlington

      Yes, your right. But only because the gays with HIV and AIDS have died!

      July 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not again

        Not all of us Sherlock

        July 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  43. bubba

    I am automatically against anything remotely connected with a union of any kind!

    July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  44. soican

    Never had a problem here. Of course most gay men are married and living a lie so until they can read minds this is kind of a useless ban.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Joe

    Ban needs to stay.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • George McGuiness

      Yeah, leave it! If you don't want my blood, I'm happy to respect your wish. Who wants to save the life of the elitists.. You can't promote and demote us between 1st and 2nd class citizens on a whim.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Ed

    I have no problem with all menmbers of Congress, their families and their extended familes all getting blood donated by gays. Then in a couple of years we will see how that works out and if it didn't increase their infliction rate with AIDS we can take it from there. Seems the least Congress can due if they are worried about blood donating "discrimination".

    If they want to really increase the safe blood supply – long past time for the Red Cross to pay $50.00 a pint to blood donors. Let the Red Cross sell it for $50.00 per pint. With all the other high cost for medicial care – this adds little to the cost and will greatly increase the blood supply.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      They already sell it for a heck of a lot more than $50 a pint and paying the donors would in fact raise the cost to hospitals and others in need. Since 1996, the cost of the Red Cross collecting, testing, transporting and delivering blood has risen 27 percent. In that same time, officials said, prices for their products have risen 9.9 percent. The typical cost they charge is between $130 and $150 a pint.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Gopherit

    Comment apparently banned!

    July 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  48. brian s.

    The only reasonable and moral thing to do is to let ANYONE who would deny SAFE and TESTED blood regardless of donor die. Yes die. I am not trying to be cruel or funny. Ignorance and stupidity is nature's way of weeding out the weak so it's just part of natural selection/survial of the fittest if you will. Sorry but it's true!

    July 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      If stupidity justified the death penalty you along with the human race would have died out along time ago.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jun

    I think that blood from gay people should be collected and labeled. If the person who needs the blood doesn't want "gay blood", then give them "straight blood". If there's no supply of "straight blood", then leave the person to die. I'd more more than happy to have blood from a gay person if I needed.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      Yeah, sort of like when white people used to be able to reject "colored blood." This is the stupidest idea I've heard in years.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jun

        You are being extremely bigoted. My solution is better than not collecting blood from gays at all and both sides can come to an agreement.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Marcus

    Was it that one night when you were really drunk? I bet HE liked it!!

    July 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  51. walleye46

    PLEASE, none of that blood for me.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      OK. You're free to die then.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Positive Christian

    I admire your enthusiasm for trolling sir. nice try, but no thanks. lol.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Spidey-Man

    I didn't even know this existed. I'm straight but I can think of a bunch of gay friends I'd rather get blood from rather than some of my straight friends because I know what they're hooking up with.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • marabou22

      That's awesome and true. I'd rather get blood from a gay man who's had the same partner for 20 years rather then some of my friends who sleep around.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  54. LeftyCoaster

    for crying out loud – we all breathe the same air and drink the same water. you've probably ingested some of liberace's genetic material at some point also. you've almost certainly inhaled the same carbon dioxide isaac newton once exhaled, but that didn't make you any smarter, did it?

    July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Positive Christian

    It's always nice to see a person who thinks they are capable, or worthy for that matter, of predicting God's movements or thoughts. Might be time to hit the good book again, mate.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  56. QS

    There was a guy, I forget his name – from the 30's or 40's I believe – who was also quite obsessed with the notion of creating a "perfect" race of humans wherein all would fit the definition of "normal"....as determined by him.

    What was that guy's name again?

    July 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  57. S. F.

    Similarly, Europeans, or anyone who lived in Europe in 80s cannot donate blood either – because of the risk of mad cow disease. Does that make sense?

    July 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      They would have developed symptoms by now.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • brian

        Doesn't matter. If you have spent enough time in Europe (I believe 5 years) then you are on a lifetime ban. Similarly if you have spent more than 6 months in Asia as I have then you are also on a lifetime ban. I can understand those bans a heck of a lot more than banning gay men. There are screening procedures they use to make sure the blood is not infected with HIV, but there is no such test for Hoof in mouth, mad cow or even malaria.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Guest4343

        Actually you are mistaken.

        CJD (Mad Cow Disease) is caused by a prion and prion diseases have been known to lie dormant for decades where the host is unsymptomatic but can pass on the disease. It turns out viruses can be very very good at propogating unknown to the hosts. It is very scary when you think about it actually.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  58. LeftyCoaster

    roflmao. if you show up at the emergency room and they say you need blood, please do us all a favor and refuse.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  59. dbw

    No gay blood for me, please. I have enough issues.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      The blood isn't gay. Don't be ignorant.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alverant

        That's probably one of his issues.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack 1

        you know good and well that's not the point. It's the deseae that can go with it, it's high risk.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Petercha

    I sincerely hope you notify the nurses that you have aids before you give blood. If not, you could be guilty of murder.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      They have to catch me first.

      Marcus, he and your mom liked it.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Petercha

    Until the day comes when they can absolutely 100% guarantee that the recipient of blood from gay people will NOT get aids, then the ban should remain in place, along with blood from drug users who share needles.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      I agree. Because GAY blood is MUCH better at hiding AIDS than non-gay blood...

      July 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      You won't get that guarantee from ANY blood. More straight people have AIDS today than gay people.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • idiot alert

      guess what aids isnt a gay only issue. plus all blood is tested boohoo.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Petercha

    Amen, Ricky.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Positive Christian


    July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  64. marabou22

    your'e screen name should be "just an idiot" instead. I think it's hilarious when people talk like they know what's going on when clearly they've never done an ounce of reading on the subject.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Positive Christian

    I don't think it would matter if the donor is gay or not. That's actually pretty stupid. As long as its tested like a regular donation then where's the problem? Its definitely a way to alienated gays from the populace and any true Christian or person for that matter wouldn't feel the need to do such a thing to another human being. I don't think blood is affected in the choice to be gay; if it were, then we should worry about the blood that comes from the people who choose to listen to Justin Beiber and watch Twilight... They are the real threat. Going to have to side with the gays on this one..

    July 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      They don't have the money, time or means to test every donation. They pool bits from every donation together and test dozens at the time, and if one donation was tainted, they destroy the whole batch. Allowing higher risk groups in the same pool of blood increases waste (and the risk that infected batch will slip through the test)

      July 9, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        And increased waste = more people dying from lack of blood for transfusion.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Positive Christian

        I see your point Larry, but what are your thoughts on a pre-test for the disease?

        July 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        Pre-test is tricky because recent infections would slip by it.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        They should definitely develop a cheap and dirty method for quick blood borne pathogen testing (even if it's not very accurate). It would improve efficiency on all sides of the operation.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joshua

        Well THERE'S your problem. If you want to outlaw an entire group because of ineffecitive or inefficient protocol, then sure, go ahead. It seems to me that the methodology for detecting 'bad things' in blood should get some more research dollars. Then you could GET some gay blood and if it's HIV+ then you can screen out individual donations rather than entire batches.

        The problem is protocol, specifically the efficiency of the screening method. Not the blood's donor source.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • brian

        Absolutely not true. The individual donations are tested. I know this for a fact because the woman who does the pre-screening screwed up on the deferred countries portion. I had been to Asia twice in the prior 12 months and by their rules I should have been deferred for a year from the return date of my last trip. The woman missed this and they took my blood anyway. Only at my next donation did the screener catch this and put in the deferral. They then had to contact all of the people who had received my blood and have them come in to be checked.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  66. marabou22

    Infected with the gay gene? wow that's a new one. I suggest you educate yourself a bit. You can't infect people with gay dude.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricky Ricardo

      That's what they want you to believe. Google "Gay Agenda".

      July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  67. After39years

    See what I mean??

    July 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Dave

    Wow, way to give idiots a bad name.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  69. nosnobunny

    And I'm sure you consider yourself to be one of those "regular persons".

    July 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  70. After39years

    Anyone else in favor of mandating an IQ test before donating blood? Based on the comments here.....

    July 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Positive Christian

      I second the motion if we include reproduction as well.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  71. QS

    Thank you for reaffirming my Atheism.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • LeftyCoaster

      great response. just, wow. that god fella is a real jerk.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  72. twr2422


    July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  73. MrId

    Wait. TSA can NOT profile Muslim men for screening because that is wrong BUT healthcare professionals CAN profile gay men and women and not allow them to give blood simply because they are gay.

    Yeap, that makes sense.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      They are considering lifestyle.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • The obvious

      You can't get aids from screening someone in line at the airport. You can, however, get aids from infected blood. Slightly different situations.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  74. BobZemko

    I've been donating blood for nearly 30 years. I was always under the impression that the donated blood is rigorously tested, anyway. So why not allow gays?

    July 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Petercha

      There is no test for aids that is 100% perfect.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        Because only gays get AIDS right? lol

        July 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  75. APS

    Using the logic of some of these commenters, we should also ban:

    African Americans – After gay men they have the highest rates of incidence.
    Anyone living in the District of Columbia – By FAR the highest rate of AIDS of any state in the US, with 119.8 diagnoses per 100,000 in 2009.
    Anyone living in the states of Texas, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, or California – Largest numbers of population living with HIV/AIDS.
    Better block out anyone living in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Memphis, Jackson MS, Columbia SC, or Baltimore as well, those cities have the highest rates outside the states previously listed.

    I'm a gay man who donated 2 gallons of blood between the age of 17-23 and saved several lives in the process...possibly yours. But I'm fine not donating anymore. I don't need my blood going to some bigoted gas bag. The fewer of those people there are around, the happier the world will be.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • HPNIII

      Important question – do they have a way of testing blood for HIV if so then obviously so if not then I agree with the additions to list.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • marabou22

        yes my understanding is they always test blood before giving it to someone else. as anyone can get aids, it's probably a good idea.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      I disagree because you have to take it on a case by case basis. Just because somebody lives in a certain area does not mean he/she has a risky lifestyle.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • grist

        So if a gay monogomous man wants to give, I guess that is ok with you.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        I disagree because you have to take it on a case by case basis. Just because somebody is gay does not mean he/she has a risky lifestyle.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • commonsense2

      I am going to assume that most people and also the government who dont want gays donating blood are going by the stats that gays supposedly have the highest% of HIV/AIDS cases in America. The second highest % group or segment of the population with HIV/AIDS are blacks. So does this mean that everyone who is black will eventually not be able to donate blood also? This story is where it starts eventually things will be worse.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest4343

      Maybe all the closeted republicans are raising the rate? (I kid, I kid)

      Seriously though, the issue is not that groups are riskier than one another (otherwise we would only take blood from newborn babies), but the level of risk. Have you done a risk ratio comparison between MSM and non-MSM vs. District of Columbia vs. Non-District of Columbia. Do it – the results will be very illuminating.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  76. QS

    After over 3 decades of this disease existing and all of us knowing about it....there are still people to this day who simply refuse to allow facts, information and education get in the way of their irrationality.

    Virtually all negative stereotypes of gay people come from bigotry and ignorance, we all know this and have, sadly perhaps, accepted it. But this stereotype that being gay should ban you from donating blood due to having the potential to contract a disease that the entire population is also at risk of contracting, is simply good old-fashioned hom.o.phobia at its finest.

    Technology has improved in the last 30 years and we are no longer completely in the dark about this disease....well, most of us are no longer in the dark. There is no rational or logical reason this ban should still be in place, not that it ever should have been to begin with.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  77. QS

    Seems like yet one more thing that other countries are leading in as we continue to lag behind.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  78. United States of Choose Your Own Facts

    Amazing how people on this comment board all cite completely different statistics yet believe they themselves are a correct authority on something they do not specialize in simply because,they read a blog, or read half a blog, or a blog headline. Bullet point culture equals dead culture. You are all morons.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Disky

    I think we all need to put ourselves in a hypothetical situation where WE will be lying in a hospital, dying, and in need of life-saving blood. I would imagine that the potential of contracting HIV from blood would be least on your mind...but staying alive will. The main goal of donor blood is to save your life. HIV is a manageable disease these days, and if the other option is death, I would opt to stay alive.

    July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • HPNIII

      My son was in the hospital a lot in the 70s and 80s, there were several people contracted aids during that time period. Fortunately my son did not.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Larry

    According to CDC, gays are still by far the most prevalent group of AIDS-infected individuals (70% in United States).

    July 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Larry

      I just went onto the CDC website to confirm your statement and I cannot find it on their website anywhere. If you wish to cite statistics, provide the link. If not, you are talking out your asssholle.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        Google CDC AIDS statistics, and it's the very first link. Go down to diagnoses by transmission.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I see where the confusion is coming from. 70% of AIDS infections, not 70% of gays. Should have clarified. Still, doesn't detract from the point that donations from gays are more likely to be tainted, all other factors being equal.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  81. ashlee

    Gay people should be able to donate blood just the same as straight people. The blood needs to be thoroughly tested no matter the donor. Anyone can get HIV, I think it is discriminatory to not let gays donate. I would feel extremely offended if I was a gay man and was not allowed to donate blood, I feel as though it is treating them as less human than everyone else and that is wrong.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  82. cindy

    People with diseases, any kind should behonest about it and all blood should be throughly tested. Maybe the ban should be lifted. But there will be he!! to pay if someone does get AIDS infected blood. Has happened before.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • m0rtis

      Sorry to do this cindy, but time for a little education:

      AIDS is an acronym "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" - it is a diagnosis based on the number of T-Cells there are in a sample of blood of someone with HIV and once you've been declared a person with AIDS, even if your T-Cells increase (which they can with properly prescribed (and taken) medication), you are still identified as someone with AIDS.

      HIV is the virus that is in the blood - so you can have HIV infected blood, not AIDS infected blood.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Taking it a step too far...

        Giving blood is not a right–it is a donation made by people who are NOT in risk groups. Find a different way to make a difference, and stop sweating the small stuff.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Taking it a step too far...

        We knew what Cindy meant...your 'education' only makes you look pompous.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        I agree with m0tris. Cindy just seems ignorant. If anyone looks pompous (and ignorant) here it’s Taking it a step to far.. I assume then he would have them ban blacks from donations as well? They are after all the second leading group at risk for AIDS.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • m0rtis


        That's why I was sorry - it was more of an explanation, in general, of the differences between HIV and AIDS. And yes, maybe you knew what she meant, but maybe she, or all the other folks that make the same "mistake", don't.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Beam48

    Its hard to forgot Ryan White who got HIV through a blood transfusion. But my understanding is HIV/AIDS is among both straight and gay people now...so hopefully ALL blood is being tested before used. And its not just men that have it but women, teens, even babies born with it. Seems like all of us have a chance of having it anymore. 🙁

    July 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beam48

      *forget* I meant.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • STVU student

      Ryan White was infected long before they ever started testing the donor blood supply for HIV... every blood donation is now tested for HIV and other known blood-borne diseases.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Caine

    Wow. Second class citizens as per usual in America. Maybe one day everyone will educate themselves on things in this country instead of being ignorant and clueless. Oh wait, that won't happen.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SC

      I say if you are dying and need blood, who cares who it came from. THey are supposed to test it thoroughly anyways but don't count on that. Anyone could have any kind of disease that could be passed on regardless of if they are gay or straight. I know this is totally off topic, you know what cracks me up about the entire thing, they want people to "donate" blood, but if you are bleeding out in a hospital and you need blood, do they "give" you the donated blood free of charge? H*ll no, you will pay for it. The same with organs. If I die and I donated my lungs, someone will have to pay a million bucks to get them. That is crap. Hospitals make me sick.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Finn

        Seriously? You think you should get a donated organ for free? Would you like that in a bag or will you just carry it around in your hand?

        July 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Willow

    Don't they already test all donated blood samples for HIV? If not, they should. They need to stop being bigoted and accept blood from all people who are healthy. Also, as has been mentioned, someone could simply lie and say they weren't gay.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greenspam

      For the record, they don't test blood against all diseases or drugs and red cross still rely on people to be truthful on their answering forms. So, many things can slip by. The reason why Red Cross doesn't pay people for blood donation is that the fear that monetary incentive will cause people who shouldn't be donate blood be donating.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • m0rtis

        "For the record", Willow didn't state ALL diseases, just HIV, which is tested for.

        And, "For the record", this is specifically related to HIV and gay men not officially able to donate if they've had any s3x with another male since the 70's, not "all diseases".

        And jeeze, where do you get your facts, man?? Read a book!

        July 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Greenspam

        @m0rtis: I did. Red Cross only performs blood test on some common infectious diseases and not all. Also, there are non infection danger. For example, cancer victims donating blood, heavy drug use users donating blood, etc. None of these would be caught by regular blood screening.

        July 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  86. dtg

    Yes, Until such time as a truly dependable AIDS test is developed that can be conducted on site at the time prior to the donation that would verify the donor is free of the disease.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      We're at that stage. Next quesitons...

      July 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • m0rtis

      Then by that logic, NOONE should be able to donate, as anyone could "possibly" be HIV positive.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan I.

      See they do that. There might be an issue with EMERGENCY blood donations, giving blood directly from one person to another, but they already ask a battery of questions in those cases.

      Here we are talking about STORED donated blood. You go to a blood drive and that blood is held until needed. In those cases the blood is tested for any problems well before it is given to anyone.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • svann

      Doesnt have to be on site testing. The blood just needs to be tested at some point before it is given to someone.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  87. slider

    It's true that all donated blood is tested for a variety of infectious diseases as it should be. But the fact that gay men are a high risk group for HIV and sub groups is enough not to lift the ban. Why take the chance, it's just not worth it..

    July 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      You're kidding right? Being gay doesn't give you HIV. A virus does. YOu can test for that. Try growing up sometime. It's fun.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • ikenelson

        He didn't say it did. Try reading comprehension sometime. It's fun.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greenspam

      False. Blood test is done for many common infectious diseases but not all things can be screened out. For example, if I were a cancer victim and donated blood, screening wouldn't catch that because cancer cells are not an infection. Or, if I did drugs and then donated blood, again, it would not be caught by blood test.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Confused

        I am wondering why you are so fixated on "cancer victims"....you cannot "catch" cancer, so your point is entirely irrelevant.

        July 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Finn

        Note to @Confused: You can, and people actually have, acquired cancer from donated organs. Metastatic cancer cells in donated blood can thrive and metastasize in the recipient's body. It's why I can't donate blood or organs except my corneas, which don't have a blood supply.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  88. crispybasil

    We let NASCAR fans, people from Mississippi and Alabama, and Tea Party members do it...can't imagine that blood from gay donors is any more dangerous.

    Count it.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  89. jojo62


    July 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Robert

    Note to all you bigots. Please stop talking and for pete's sake stop breeding. Everytime you speak you perpetuate the notion that America is a bunch of inbred dropouts, and from an evolutionary standpoint, the less you reproduce, the better.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Chris

    I'm sorry, but I think the ban should stand. Gay men account for half of all those with AIDS, the risk is just too great. Yes AIDs exists in straight people but the chance of them having AIDs is much less.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim tom

      Just curious. Are you under the impression that they don't test blood that has been donated for AIDS before they give it to a patient?

      July 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • ikenelson

        Yes, it is tested. The test is not 100% accurate. Transfusion recipients still get HIV from blood that was tested. So why would we allow a segment of the population that has an HIV rate twenty times higher than the rest of the population to donate blood, when there is not a real blood shortage (this article is misleading in that respect. There is more than enough blood, the red cross likes to have a large reserve on hand, and ends up destroying large quanities of blood on a routine basis).

        July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Also Black women and men have the 2nd highest population for HIV/Aids... Should they be banned also...

      I am a gay man and donate blood all the time... I choose not to answer that I am gay...

      July 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • cindy

        You'd probably deny you had AIDS too.

        July 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • oz31

        Sorry Daniel. I am a black female and I don't have HIV or AIDS. Not only have I been a regular donor since 2005, but my blood is given to infant and newborns because I do not drink or smoke and I test negative for CMV. Hope this helps

        July 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • SallyBShelly

        I am a black female who is Hiv Negative and I do not have Aids. I do not agree with statistics bc We don't know if the #'s are accurate. We do not know when, where and how often the data was gathered. We do not know if the person logging the information in is a racist or not. Hell we don't even know if the individual can read a damn graph. So to say that Blacks, Haitians, etc are a High Risk or At Risk...is Unacceptable and Not True. But my personal experience re: statistics happened when I went to apply for food stamps. I use to hear that only black ppl used food stamps and I would only c black ppl using them. Tah-huuh Not, as I approached the DCF building legions and legions of white ppl were waiting outside of the building to apply for Food Stamps, Medicaid and Cash Assistance. I had to call everyone I knew to tell them what I had just experienced. There were more whites than blacks. BOTTOM LINE IS THIS; LIFT THE BAN, AND CONTINUE TESTING THE BLOOD.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juli

      What about the woman married to the guy that can't keeps his pants zipped. I would prefer a blood transfer from my gay friend (in a committed relationship for 20 years) than from her – less chance of getting AIDs

      July 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Jim29

    The last thing we need is some filthy animals contaminating our blood supply with their blood. The ban should remain in place. I am going to donate blood today and people should do the same.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Jim, poor ingnorant Jim....you sound like a closet case who is very bitter and again....poor poor Jim. So sad.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      It made sense when the ban was put into place in the 80’s since the testing for AIDS took too long to complete and was not very good. In 2012 it makes no sense. I am gay and the last time I went to give blood I was not allowed not because I was gay but due to the fact I was overseas in Kuwait when I was in the military. Blood is blood. Anyone can be carrying some disease. At one point a black person was not allowed to give blood because it was thought they did not have the same type of blood or some crazy reason like that.

      Any healthy person should be allowed to give blood. The blood is tested and if something is found it is not used.

      On another note I find it funny Jim29 when you say we don't need blood from "filthy animals" when if I remember my history correct one of the theories on where AIDS started is that AIDS was transferred from a monkey to a human.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Poor ignorant Jim.

      How can any woman be sure the man she is sleeping with hasn't slept with another man, or that the man she just slept with isn't doing IV drugs? Yet, you would gladly except her blood.

      Go right ahead, play Russian Roulette, you silly fool.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest123

      Jim is right. Many people would agree with him.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  93. Steven

    What makes the blood of a gay man different than a straight man? This is ridiculous by not allowing a gay man to donate? This policy should be banned and allow everyone who is disease free to donate and not discriminate someone's life preference.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      What's so hard to understand? It's a high risk group. You guys started it all.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chris

        That is true, AIDs raced through the gay male population and it continues too as well.

        July 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Matt

    I don't know that it needs to be BANNED. But ALL blood should be tested for blood-borne diseases to prevent the spread of infection.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim tom

      All blood is tested. They don't just take your word for it, and then put it in somebody.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Jack

    No gay blood, please! Very dangerous risk.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • m0rtis

      You, Sir, are an idi0t, and I hope you never need a blood transfusion.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack 1

        If the ban is lifted altogether, we run into the problem that our current lab test can detect an HIV infection only if it's been at least 10 days since exposure. That means that someone who just became infected with HIV could come in to donate blood and test negative. Again, that's more of a possibility with a higher-risk population.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tori

      Jack people liek you need to be slapped... or sent back to school.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack 1

        You need to go to school, it's still a very high risk.

        July 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Would you prefer the blood of a housewife whose husband did IV drugs and she has no idea?

      July 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Eric

    I'm gay I donated blood i didnt even know that it was a bann but yes I agree that there should have been a ban in the 70's now the highest prcentge of people with aids is black men

    July 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Dan G.

    Yes, rather than hope no new Aids strain arises or some other new disease. Thousands died because of the initial aids contamination and the failure of people to act responsibly so why made this mistake again just to be politically correct.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • FiveLIters

      You do realize...(on second thought,after reading your earlier posts,you probably don't),that a gay person can easily go give blood and not identify themselves as gay,right? So therefore,that blood is already in the supply/use chain as we speak. They test all blood once it is received anyway,so they would be smart to tap into another source like this,especially if said source is willing to contribute. Finally,if you needed blood for something,will you ask the Dr. if it came from a gay person,and even then,how would they know?

      July 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • m0rtis

        If he thought of it, he'd probably ask. Just like he'd ask if it's from another "race".

        July 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Tina

    I would hope that they test ALL blood donations, no matter whom it came, before putting it in the blood bank or donating it to another person. Heteros can have diseases in their blood, too. Just check everybody for everything. What's the problem?

    July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan G.

      New diseases won't show up in a test.

      July 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • nameless

        You make it sound like only gay people will have new diseases in their blood. Anyone could have a new strain of a disease. Lift the ban and continue to screen everyone.

        July 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      #1: All diseases are not deadly. Only a very few.
      #2: It is simply cost prohibitive to 100% test all blood donations for every conceivable disease. They HAVE to rely on medical facts, statistics, recent history, and lifestyle to prevent blood supply contamination.
      #3: Even with 100% testing, the test is not 100% accurate; especially with recent infections.

      These are the simply scientific facts. The probability of contaminating the blood supply with a deadly disease is simply far too geat to allow gays to donate. I am sorry the facts do not fit with a liberal, politically-correct agenda.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  99. threesigmaevent

    I didn't even know this ban existed. They should be screened and able to donate like anybody else.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  100. David

    I think the ban should be lifted. Here, in 2012, as opposed to the 1980s two things have changed. AIDS is huge in gay and straight men blood. Also here in 2012, we have technology that can easily (compared to 1980s) determine if a blood sample is contaminated with AIDS. There are many gay men with healthy blood, and it would only help keep a supply of blood for those who need it.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
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