Just an interesting article I found on CNN.com. What’s even more interesting is the reminder of the restrictions in the simple humanitarian effort in giving blood. The 1980s brought attention to the LGBT community in a negative way with the rise of HIV/AIDS in the United States. Lack of knowledge of the virus brought panic in society and so people began to acknowledge it as “the gay disease” as many believed that gay men having unprotected sex caused it. Such popular belief led to the ostracizing many people who had HIV including the sad case of Ryan White who contracted the virus through blood transfusion.
So here we are in the year 2012, and still a ban exists preventing many gay men from donating blood. What I found interesting was the term MSM or Men Who Have Sex With Men and how it is used in federal agencies such as the CDC. There is still an uncertainty about who will or will not spread HIV even with our better understanding of the virus and advancement in technology. Now that blood donations have declined the government is now considering reviewing the ban in the midst of this desperate situation. According to the CDC, in 2009 the next highest cases of HIV existed among African-American females. So should it matter what a person’s sexual preference/history is if blood banks would be able to detect the HIV virus anyway with our current technology?
What are your thoughts on this matter? (Also in addition to this there is a link to another article about China allowing lesbians to give blood. That in itself provides an interesting prospective on the relationship between society and the LGBT community)