HIV

If You're Gay and Undateable, at Least You Can Now Donate Blood

FDA finally ending lifetime ban.

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Hang up a disco ball, maybe?
Credit: dno1967b / photo on flickr

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally moving forward with ending its decades-old ban that blocked men who have ever had sex with other men from ever donating blood. The ban was instituted in the 1980s during the height of AIDS panic.

Since that time, the ability to check the HIV virus in blood has dramatically improved, thanks to science and innovation. The idea that gay men should never be able to donate blood became an absurd restriction. So it's been lifted, sort of.

The new policy is that gay men can donate blood, so long as they haven't had sex in a year. Think of it as a consolation prize for those who can't get laid. This matches the restriction on straight men who have sex with prostitutes—they have to wait a year—and matches restrictions on gay men donating blood in places like the United Kingdom and Australia.

The new rules are still, nevertheless, overly restrictive. There are tests now that can detect HIV in just two weeks after exposure, but some tests require as long as three months to pick up the virus. Having to wait a whole year is an unnecessary delay, both for gay men and frequenters of prostitutes. HIV groups complain that the new rules are still discriminatory and cut out thousands of potential donors who don't have HIV. But it will add more than 185,000 potential new blood donors, according to a University of California study.

I guess it's time for me to start working on that romantic comedy script about two lonely, brittle, caustic gay men (Will Forte and Bill Hader?) who meet at the blood bank and learn to actually love and be loved. It'll be a hit at all the festivals! 

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  1. Ain’t that some shit?

    If You’re Gay and Undateable, at Least You Can Now Donate Blood

    Shackleford gets ackowledged by NR and feels like he can come here and troll a significant part of the commentariat.

    1. Mind you, if he’d said ‘gay OR undateable’, he’d have gotten us all.

      1. For a few it’s *and*.

        I’m just disappointed he didn’t work pot and Mexicans into the blog post.

      2. It’s difficult to be dateable when you have a wife. So at least I have an excuse.

    2. Shackleford gets ackowledged by NR

      Shaquille is just lucky those great minds over at NR even know he exists.

  2. “There are tests now that can detect HIV in just two weeks after exposure, but some tests require as long as three months to pick up the virus.”

    Capable of doing so and reliably doing so are two different things.

    They really should move this restriction to people who have participated in anal sex, though. That’s the actual risk factor. Hand, vaginal, and oral sex all have much lower chances of passing on HIV even without condoms.

    1. That’s a good point. Lesbians are better for the risk profile as blood donors than either gays or heterosexuals, in that case.

    2. They really should move this restriction to people who have participated in anal sex, though.

      First they came for the butt-fuckers.
      But I said nothing.

    3. There is also the cost of more positives by including a higher risk group, which means wasted time and effort and equipment drawing the blood, testing it and storing it until the tests come back for more draws that cannot be used. Even if you can catch all the tainted draws, the cost-benefit ration of including this group may not make sense.

      1. …which is an excellent reason for blood banks not to accept risk group blood, not am fda rule

  3. This matches the restriction on straight men who have sex with prostitutes?they have to wait a year?and matches restrictions on gay men donating blood in places like the United Kingdom and Australia.

    It also matches the restriction on women who have sex with a man who has sex with men. But you’re doing better than people who have ever exchanged sex for drugs or money!

    1. Or food.

  4. I can’t donate blood at all. They don’t want my garbage blood. They incinerate my donated blood along with the tumors and midnight abortions.

    1. What happens at midnight?

      1. They turn back into tiny pumpkins.

        1. Why are you donating tumors and abortions? Can’t you come up with anything better to do with them?

          1. I get in trouble when I try to sell them. Stupid state laws.

        2. They turn back into tiny pumpkins.

          THEY’RE JUST TINY CLUMPS OF CELLULOSE!!!1111!!!!!!

      2. They turn into pumpkins?

        1. dammit!

    2. They don’t want my blood either, but that’s because it’s too full of awesome.

      1. Are you positive?

        1. Awesome = whiskey

          1. I also mainline bourbon.

    3. That makes sense. I can’t imagine your blood wouldn’t have a pretty severe case of cooties.

      1. Of course I mean cooties only in the best possible way.

  5. How do they even enforce these rules?

    Related: most jobs I have had have a blood drive every year. I generally do not ‘out’ myself to the slobs I work with so it’s always fun coming up with excuses to answer “why didn’t you give??”

    1. Your coworkers ask? We have the same type thing at my work. I don’t give and nobody even notices.

      1. Yeah, it strikes me as grossly inappropriate to ask. “So, what is it? New tattoo? Pay for sex? Have sex with a man? Prison? Pay a man for a prison tattoo with sex?”

    2. Assuming you wanted to donate, couldn’t you just lie to the phlebotomist, too? Not saying you should have to, just within the context of your work blood drives.

  6. Who wants to donate blood this badly anyway?

    1. I liked the idea of putting myself into different people.

        1. In the case of hemophiliacs, thousands of other people. A little bit of SugarFree in every one of them. Forever.

          1. “We can’t explain why you were unable to metabolize that one SweetTart, ma’am. Also, what you wrote in the ‘Sex’ box is not appropriate for an official form.”

            1. “How did you even manage to microprint ‘every day and twice on sunday’ in the little checkbox with that pen?”

    2. The real question is, who are all these people who have never had sex in exchange for drugs or money?

      1. Straight men. Of course I have exchanged my body for what I thought was going to be what sounded like a meal delicious blue waffles. My night took an unexpected twist.

        1. *Of course I have exchanged my body for what I thought was going to be what sounded like a meal delicious blue waffles. My night took an unexpected twist.

        2. As a straight man, I’ve slept with a woman in exchange for food that she brought me. She was, well, more John’s type than sarcasmic’s.

          WTF are blue waffles?

          1. whatever you do don’t search for that.

      2. Hypothetical question… for a friend:

        If the only way you have sex is when using Rohypnol, is that considered an ‘exchange’?

        1. Is Rohypnol something of value?

          1. Now now, SugarFree, you know that isn’t the relevant question. Many valuable things can be exchanged for sex with no impact on your ability to donate blood. Such as food, clothing, and housing.

            1. Ah, true. I forget that only honest monetary transactions make you a whore.

              1. That and when women don’t find me attractive.

              2. Otherwise Kay diamonds would be advertising prostiution in every ad. I mentioned that to my wife and she got a bit frosty.

                1. I remember from when Family Guy still seemed kind of fresh and funny they had a fake DeBeers ad with the woman shaped shadow going down on the man shaped shadow with the caption “Diamonds. She’ll pretty much have to.”

                  1. So a little girlwalks in on her parents and thinks the dad is hurting mommy by being on top of her. Mommy tucks her back in bed and says no honey that’s just the way parents make little brothers.

                    The next night the little girl walks in on mommy giving daddy some head. While getting tucked in the little girl knowing tells he mom, just making me a little brother”?

                    “No baby, that’s how mommies make jewelry”.

          2. Is Rohypnol something of value?

            They don’t just give it away.

            1. They don’t just give it away.

              You haven’t been to a party at Cosby’s house, I take it?

              1. Not that I can remember.

                Hmmm… Why does that make my butthole hurt?

    3. Shackford and/or Shackleford, apparently.

  7. Can’t you just lie?

  8. Having to wait a whole year is an unnecessary delay, both for gay men and frequenters of prostitutes. HIV groups complain that the new rules are still discriminatory

    Right. If anything can be conceived to adversely impact a gay man, it’s clearly hateful discrimination. There can be no other explanation.

    1. I know! I mean, how dare they take offense at being called diseased slutmonsters that are deliberately trying to spread HIV by tainting the blood supply.

      1. …well, if they’ve got HIV they’re by definition diseased. As to the rest, I missed hearing anyone get called a slutmonster intentionally spreading disease last time I went to the blood bank. Would’ve made it a hell of a lot more entertaining, if nothing else.

        1. When you play dumb it’s almost like you aren’t playing.

        2. They don’t have HIV. They have sex with other men.

          1. But they’re also having sex with the other man’s HIV. Try to keep up, nicole.

        3. I don’t think how people feel is a good way to come up with medical guidelines but thanks for letting us know how feeling feels is so important to you.

      2. I do not think it is put that way, but so what if they take offense? Why should gays taking offense have any bearing on how this issue is resolved?

      3. Christ you are one mendacious cunt. Are you capable of anything other than flippant faux-edgy posing?

  9. I quit donating because I was tired of being harassed by Vampirella to come in due to a “shortage” exactly six weeks to the day after I last donated for years.

    1. You must be type O negative too.

      By the way, it’s illegal to compensate donors, even though the patient is charged something like $500 for the transfusion. Thus leading to the present shortage.

      1. The cookies and oj don’t count.

      2. This needs to change. I know you guys aren’t exactly super friendly to free market solutions, but doesn’t this seem like a good option? Look, if I could get paid, cash, for donating blood, I would do it in a heart beat. Depending on how much, of course, but that would incent a lot of folks to action.

        1. Ditto with organs.

      3. By the way, it’s illegal to compensate donors,

        When did that happen? I used to donate blood and plasma to raise money for ramen noodles. That only worked because they paid me.

      4. What about donating blood for gay sex and drugs? Is that okay?

    2. My old office had a blood drive every six months or so. You were allowed 4 hours of administrative leave that day if you donated, so I’d sign up for a 1:30 appointment and call it a day.

  10. donate? I’m as altruistic as a public servant.

  11. Does Trump know about this?

  12. It says something about gay activism that being discriminated against in a trivial way is more important than putting other people’s health at risk.

    Whether or not the blood supply can be effectively and reliably screened if you include people with high risk factors for HIV should be the only consideration. Whether or not it hurts the feelings of gays to exclude them from being donors should not be a factor at all.

    1. You don’t sign an affidavit and there’s no penalty for lying. It says nothing either way, except that bureaucrats and activists both enjoy being petty.

  13. Whether or not the blood supply can be effectively and reliably screened if you include people with high risk factors for HIV should be the only consideration.

    Can it be? What is the cost of an HIV test on a blood donation? Another question, don’t they test blood donations for other blood borne risks?

      1. HomoAIDS is undetectable by ordinary tests.

      2. They test every unit for HIV anyway.

        That is what I thought. If so, what is the issue?

        1. The issue is whether you really want to be infused with blood that’s recently been engorging some gay guy’s boner.

        2. A higher incidence of positives means wasted time and resources drawing blood that is useless.

        3. The issue is it won’t always show up say they wanted to minimize those at risk so they wouldn’t miss it.

      3. The problem is that last I heard the HIV test had a rather highish incidence of false negatives. If it is antibody based, there will be a lag between infection and development of detectable titre.

  14. Question: does gay blood contain glitter? Does it sparkle?

    1. Only when exposed to direct sunlight.

      1. Wait, so that is what those Twilight vampires are after? That is why they sparkle?

        1. Spoilers.

          1. Go away, River. Grumpy Owl Doctor doesn’t love you.

      2. Not lesbian blood. It bark in it.

  15. I will gladly trade a pint of my old blood for half a pint of young blood. 25 years old or less.

    1. And thereby gain a knowledge of propane and propane accessories?

  16. “I did not have sexual relations with any man, Miss Lewinski.”

  17. So us straight and undateable, we’re just S.O.L.?

    1. Completely able to donate blood, however…barring the aforementioned prostitution caveat.

  18. “””during the height of AIDS panic.”””

    A panic is still going on if you consider that the US Federal Government alone spends over $30 billion in taxpayer money a year and rising on AIDS. Added to that is State and Local tax money being spent as well. Plus with the new Obama care policy that existing conditions can’t stop you from getting insurance then the other policy holders are paying extra to cover that spending

    http://kff.org/global-health-p…..t-request/

  19. Homosexual, monogamous, and always use a condom despite a negative STD test every 6 months? Get away filth.

    Heterosexual, had protected sex with a hooker? Get away filth.

    Injected a pharmacy-sold pill once, with a brand new needle, 40 years ago? Get away filth.

    Passed around a bloody straw to snort coke off the ass of the 5 sluttiest non-hooker girls you know right after having unprotected anal sloppy fifths, which is a normal weekend for you? COME ON IN!

    These bigots need to stop pretending their anti-drug and anti-gay positions are about infection risk, and actually look into whether there’s actual risky behavior. “The best science” sure as hell doesn’t say the guy doing that last thing is less of a risk than the other 3.

    1. Injected a pharmacy-sold pill once,

      I bet that was painful.

    2. They’re basing it off statistics. Gay men get HIV at a far higher rate then straights. Get over your persecution.

      1. This. Sucks, but it’s true. Guys are stupid, gay or straight. Horny ggay uys are more likely to do something stupid with other horny guys than horny straight men are with women.

      2. Mightn’t that correlate with prohibitionist dogma not being all that convincing to people who make up their own minds? “Just say no” social pressure propaganda campaigns are only as convincing as the audience is susceptible. About 25% of Americans require actual evidence that something is bad before they can be deputized into a lynch mob to ban it.

        1. I found some statistics to the effect that injecting drugs is more popular among men than among women. I wonder what that would imply…
          It’s a safe bet that statistics will never be so interpreted as to imply that christian lawmakers were wrong about sending men with guns out to kick in doors to enforce their dogma, creed and laws.

  20. How about the screening accuracy for hepatitis? That’s another disease for which male homosexual contact is a major risk factor.

    I haven’t gotten a call from the donation center in a while, so I assumed we weren’t hard up enough in the blood banks to increase risk to the recipient. Maybe I was wrong about that.

  21. Yeah, given changes in testing and protocols, its a stupid rule.

    Back when it was adopted, not so much. The rate of transmission of AIDs via blood transfusion dropped to effectively zero when these rules went into effect.

    1. I remember reading that paying people for blood attracted the wrong types. While every pint is tested, it still costs money to keep an unusable pint. Considering that most blood donors are repeats, I’ve wondered why they couldn’t just start paying you after the fifth or so time without incident. Of course, those people will donate regardless of whether they’re paid or not.

  22. I parsed that 1st sentence funny re “blocked men”.

  23. “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally moving forward with ending its decades-old ban that blocked men who have ever had sex with other men from ever donating blood.”

    So, it would seem, they only accepted blood from liars.

  24. Unfortunately, MSM (men who have sex with men) are at higher risk of all sorts of disease from HIV to hep B to syphilis. Incidence of the latter is rising in part due to MSM behavior.

  25. Any word about those of us banned because we lived in Great Britain in the 80’s?

  26. This story that HIV is sexually transmitted sure was convenient for Grand Old Prohibitionism at the time it was written. All of the cities that banned access to clean needles in the 60s and 70s had hepatitis outbreaks, soon followed by AIDS epidemics that tracked the movement of Afghan heroin into Russia and These States. Declaring it an STD lets prohibitionist and anti-choice lawmakers off the hook for exacerbating an epidemic. It also helps demonize people who use free birth control.

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