Change.org, By Eric Couto
The Department of Health and Human Services last year upheld their discriminatory policy on banning gay men from donating blood. According to a yahoo news article, "a recent study found that the gay ban costs hospitals 219,000 pints of blood each year".
Coming from a gay man, someone who works in the health field, and someone who has donated for the past 4 years, I find this derogative practice counterproductive and seems to set an image that HIV could possibly only be associated with gay men. About every two months when it is time to donate, I receive a daily phone call asking for a donation until I can actually make it in because of my blood type being O negative.
The CDC reported that in 2008, out of the roughly 41,269 people to have been diagnosed with HIV that year, 13,180 were infected by heterosexual contact. That means 32% of newly diagnosed cases were from heterosexuals. According to the World Health Organization HIV Data and Statistics, women made up more than half the population living with HIV in 2009.
The American Red Cross recently announced that donations were at their lowest in May and June, and that O negative was in need since anyone needing a transfusion can receive O negative. Every single donation of blood or plasma is screened for HIV, Hepatitis, and other infectious diseases. So why discriminate against homosexual men if all is tested?
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