Every year since my sixteenth birthday, I have donated blood at my school’s annual blood drive. Each time I donate blood, I have to fill out an extensive questionnaire which requires donors to divulge personal information about their sex lives- their gay male sex lives, in particular. It is made very clear by clinicians and by the New York Blood Center itself that males who have had sex with another male, even once, are not allowed to donate blood, nor are females who have had sex with a male who has had sex with a male. The justification for such a rule is that it is a preventative measure intended to ensure that no recipients of blood donations contract HIV/ AIDS.
The New York Blood Center also makes it very clear that ALL blood donations are tested for HIV/ AIDS, as well as syphilis and other conditions and diseases that are transmissible by blood.
Those who support the ban on gay blood make two main claims. First, they claim that if gay blood is allowed to be donated, the spread of HIV/ AIDS will increase. This is blatantly untrue, as I have already mentioned, because all blood donations are tested for HIV/ AIDS. The second claim is that it costs the New York Blood Center money to have to test gay blood for HIV/ AIDS, which is also untrue, because, at the risk of being repetitive, ALL BLOOD DONATIONS ARE TESTED FOR HIV/ AIDS! And again, ALL BLOOD DONATIONS ARE TESTED FOR HIV/ AIDS!
Those who truly comprehend how important blood is for those in need of transfusions would not reject any healthy, disease free blood on any basis. How convenient, then, that we don’t simply take a donor’s word that he does not have HIV or AIDS! How convenient, that regardless of safe sexual behavior or lack of intravenous drug use, all blood is contaminated until proven healthy!
Gay blood is blood. Straight blood is blood. If the blood is unhealthy, do not inject it into a patient’s body. It’s as simple as that.