Are Lesbians Allowed To Donate Blood

Are Lesbians Allowed To Donate Blood Then, as testing

Why Are Gay Men Banned From Donating Blood?

A 2020 modeling study in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology suggested that 41% of new HIV diagnoses in American women were the result of condomless anal sex. There’s also some data that suggest that, for unknown reasons, cisgender women’s rectal lining may be more vulnerable to HIV than men’s. PART OF WHAT MAKES the current ban so archaic is that when it was instated, the U.S. didn’t have the sensitive detection methods for HIV in donated blood. Every blood donation is tested for HIV in two different ways . As a result, the rate of accidentally acquiring HIV through a blood transfusion is extremely low—roughly one in 1.5 million. It is clear that men who have sex with men who come to donate blood seem to have self-selected in some way.

Yet a woman who has had unprotected sex with multiple partners over the same time frame with no knowledge of their personal histories remains in the donor pool. Every donated unit of blood undergoes a rigorous series of tests to determine any possible presence of HIV, hepatitis, syphilis and other blood-borne disease. None of these tests, however, are 100 percent accurate, and they can produce faulty results. For instance, despite current restrictions and testing of approximately 12 million units donated each year, 10 HIV-infected units have slipped through.

In part, because research shows that HIV-positive blood donors were more likely to report a history of male to male sexual contact than donors without HIV. And even though tests are now highly accurate, there is a so-called "window period" of up to 10 days when a person could test negative for HIV, even when they are actually positive. There is no deferral for a woman who has had sex with another woman, and the individual may be eligible to donate blood.

But it took a national emergency for things to finally shift a bit. InApril 2020, as blood donations plummeted due to the pandemic, the FDA updated its restriction to a three-month abstinence period before donating. The Red Cross values all potential blood donors and understands that selecting either male or female may not align with how some individuals identify. The Red Cross also knows that there is a difference between biological sex and gender. On June 8, the American Red Cross implemented the changes to donor eligibility criteria announced earlier this spring by the FDA. They encourage individuals who believe they may now be eligible to give under the new guidelines to visitRedCrossBlood.orgto learn more about donor eligibility requirements that help ensure the safety of both blood donors and blood recipients.

“It’s scientific that the policy doesn’t mention homosexual identity but only fences off some who have certain sex behaviours, because AIDS is not caused by one’s homosexual identity but improper sexual behaviour,” Xian said. Last month, the FDA announced it is re-evaluating its blood donation policy yet again. Sam Brinton is hopeful that ultimately the ban will be lifted. Today, blood banks screen for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, with an acucracy rate of 99.99%, according to the FDA.

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But clearly men who have sex with men aren’t the only people engaging in that sort of sex. 1.2 million people in the U.S. have the disease, according to the CDC. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were more than 9,000 transfusion-related HIV transmissions between 1981 ad 1985. Then, as testing methods improved, the numbers dropped to the single digits per year.

Any change or alteration in the regulations governing donor suitability must be based in science. The federal government must invest in new research to study risk behavior. HRC has strongly encouraged FDA to revise the donor questionnaire based on an individual risk assessment of sexual behaviors upon which all donors are evaluated equally, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. On April 2, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was updating its policy regarding blood donations from men who have sex with men , reducing the deferral period from 12 months to three months. Blood centers nationwide screen potential donors by asking a set of questions written to determine risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease, such as HIV or hepatitis. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this pre-screening eliminates up to 90 percent of donors who may be carrying a blood-borne disease.

You do not need to tell Versiti staff that you are transgender. So what protects the maximum number of people most efficiently, with the least risk and least amount of discrimination? Finding none, the visitor “lays down and bleeds,” said Louis Katz, MD, acting chief medical director for Impact Life.

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“The nation easily believed that being a homosexual equates to AIDS. Inadequate understanding of the two things was the main reason why ‘homosexuals’ was listed as a group not allowed to donate blood, as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS,” sexologist Li Yinhe told the Global Times daily. In fact, Custer says only 4 in 10 Americans are eligible to donate blood at any given time because of a host of ever-changing FDA bans and deferrals. Like the restrictions for people who have traveled to countries with Zika outbreaks, people with Hepatitis C, sex workers, intravenous drug users, and anyone who recently got a tattoo or piercing. Another important player in this debate is Brian Custer, a senior investigator at San Francisco’s Blood Systems Research Institute, one of the nation’s largest blood collectors.

  • As HIV testing and treatment have evolved over time, those models show that the risk of HIV making it into the blood supply has also dropped, said Brian Custer, PhD, director of epidemiology and policy science at the Vitalant Research Institute.
  • Then receptive partners in vaginal sex have the next highest risk.
  • Blood centers nationwide screen potential donors by asking a set of questions written to determine risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease, such as HIV or hepatitis.
  • Back when the ban on gay men donating blood came out, there were no tests for HIV.
  • The federal government must invest in new research to study risk behavior.

The first account of people contracting AIDS came in a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 1981. It mentioned five men had contracted a disease thought to be caused by sexual contact. On a recent Friday morning, in Sterling, Virginia, the staff at Inova Blood Donor Services is gearing up for a blood drive at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Inova supplies blood products to 25 hospitals in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Our staff members are required to confirm your demographic information, including gender, but if our records have the incorrect gender, you may ask for it to be changed.

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Since 2000, there have been only 4 confirmed cases in the U.S. Versiti is committed to fostering an environment of support and inclusion and acting as an agent of change.

You do not need to tell Versiti staff that you are intersex. The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research regulates and establishes standards for the collection of blood and blood products. The center receives advise on this issue by the Blood Products Advisory Council, which meets regularly to consider issues such as altering the pool of potential blood donors. For instance, nearly 1 in 4 new HIV transmissions in the U.S. occurred in heterosexual adults in 2019.