Federal government considering letting gay men donate blood
By Dustin Siggins | lifesitenews.com
The news comes less than a week after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 48 states men who have sex with men (MSM) represent the majority of HIV/AIDS sufferers.
Existing policy bars men who have had sex at least once since 1977 from donating blood for life, due to the high risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS. Other countries, such as Spain and Italy, have lifted their bans. Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Britain have a one-year deferral after sex. Canada has a five-year deferral policy.
The nation’s major blood bank organizations – the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), American Red Cross, and America’s Blood Centers – have publicly supported changing the policy to a one-year deferral after men have sex with other men.
Dr. Steven Kleinman, senior medical adviser at AABB, told LifeSiteNews.com that his organization supports changing current policy to a one-year deferral, because “current testing catches the vast majority of HIV/AIDS-infected blood.”
Kleinman told LifeSiteNews.com that “current testing is highly accurate and has reduced the risk of HIV/AIDS to less than one in a million units that are given to patients.”
“The only cases where testing doesn’t catch the infection is when a donor is in the very earliest stages of HIV infection, when the amount of virus is so small the testing cannot detect it,” he said.
Male homosexual sex is still the most common way for people to get HIV/AIDS. An August 2013 graphic from the CDC highlights that men having homosexual sex account for 52 percent of all Americans with AIDS are 63 percent of new infections..
The CDC report noted that there was a 12 percent increase in MSM with HIV/AIDS between 2008 and 2010, especially among young men. Anal sex without condoms among gay men rose 20 percent between 2005 and 2011.
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality President Peter LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews.com that lifting the ban “is public policy madness.”
“Rather than deal with the elephant in the room – actual homosexual conduct itself, which should be discouraged as a health hazard – politicians and bureaucratic elites, pressured by LGBT activists, are considering lifting the ban on homosexual blood donations,” he said.
LaBarbera also said homosexual activists put their desire to suppress all opposition to homosexuality, “in this case, giving blood, above the best interests of society and youth.”
He pointed to CDC data showing approximately 94 percent of males aged 13-24 with HIV/AIDS got it by having sex with other men.
“Government properly discourages smoking,” LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews. “Government should also take actions to discourage homosexual behavior…to protect the public and homosexual men themselves.”
But homosexual activists say not only should the government change its rules, but that a one-year deferral is not enough.
Gay public relations expert Bob Witeck – who is openly homosexual and the CEO of Witeck Communications – said the ban should be lifted entirely. In e-mails to LifeSiteNews.com, Witeck said the ban is “outdated and must surely go. The FDA uses multiple layers of safeguards to ensure blood safety by screening all blood donors based on risk factors and signs of infection.”