I’ve decided to write a post in honor of the fact that I donated blood today.
The first thing I’d like to say is, if you can, go donate blood! According to the Red Cross supplies are down across the US (Google Red Cross blood supply low or read here).
According to the Red Cross, the current shortage leaves about half the readily available blood supply on hand compared with this time last year.
Donating blood can save up to three lives (according to anywhere you go donate blood… I hope it’s true, but at the very least I know it can save one life).
The second thing I would like to say is, isn’t it time we remove restrictions on homosexual men donating? Not being a homosexual male, I have no idea if they actually refuse to allow you to donate if you admit to having had sex with another male. If they do refuse your donation, that’s ridiculous. I thought we got over the whole calling AIDS “gay men’s disease.” Maybe I’ve been lied to in school, but I was also under the impression that gay men are no more likely at the present time to become HIV positive than other groups. Feel free to correct me if I’m actually wrong, but include a link.
I realize the questions are about gauging risk. They ask you if you’ve ever had malaria or come into contact with someone who has had the smallpox vaccine (how the heck should I know? Do they all wear signs on their necks?). I just don’t understand how this question helps, and I do see how it hurts.
Does it bug other people that whether or not a male has had sex with another male is a qualifier for blood donation? Any gay or bisexual men out there willing to tell me whether or not you’ve donated? Have you told the truth when asked that question and been allowed to donate? Have you lied?*
*As a general rule I think lying is bad, but, if you were unqualified to donate blood solely for the reason that you’ve had sex with someone you’re actually attracted to, I think lying might be all right.