Jason Peno 0

Equal Treatment of Blood Donors

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To: FDA On the American Red Cross survey screening for potential blood donors, there are many questions used to screen out people who are engaged in activities that would place them at high risk for transmitting HIV and other blood borne diseases. Two of these questions specifically address male-to-male sex acts either directly or indirectly. These questions are of concern to us because they perpetuate the myth that AIDS is a disease transferred primarily through the male-to-male sex act. In their current form, and without complementary questions about other sex acts, these questions constitute discrimination against men who engage in sex with other men and women who engage in sex with gay and bisexual men. The exact wording of the questions is as follows: 14. Are you a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977 27. Are you a female who, in the past 12 months, has had sex with a male who has had sex, even once, with another male since 1977 There are no questions specifically regarding HIV or STD testing, or any other questions asking about sexual practices other than those involving I.V. drug users or sex workers. These questions would allow a heterosexual who has had unprotected sex of any kind (anal, oral, or genital) with multiple partners to give blood whereas a male who has had protected sex with only one man or a woman who had sex with only one gay or bisexual man would not be permitted. We feel that because these questions target a preference rather than specific practices, they are discriminatory towards gay men, bisexual men, and women who have had sex with gay or bisexual men. We propose that these questions be revised to ask about specific sexual practice, testing, and promiscuity, which would target MORE high-risk groups while not discriminating against gay men, bisexual men, and women who have had sex with gay or bisexual men. Suggestions for questions are: *Have you ever engaged in unprotected anal sex outside of a monogamous relationship If yes, have you been tested for STD's since this encounter How soon after the encounter *Have you had more than 5 sexual partners in the last year *Do you frequently engage in unprotected sex with multiple partners with little or no known sexual history In addition to altering questions, we support that individuals answering yes to these types of questions should still have to experience a waiting period before donating blood, but we encourage you to reassess the use of a lifetime ban surrounding these issues. Individuals who have engaged in safe-sex practices and those who have entered into monogamous relationships reduce their risk factors and should be able to donate blood after a waiting period and thorough blood testing. Thank you for considering our concerns. Sincerely, The Undersigned


This Petition is sponsored by Yale Divinity School's LGBTQA Coalition. This organization is designed to provide advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQA community and to provide support and community building to the LGBTQA students at Yale Divinity School


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18827137/ http://www.redcross.org/museum/history/100dates.asp http://www.gaypeopleschronicle.com/stories05/august/0826053.htm http://www.petitiononline.com/ekwalbld/petition.html http://www.gayblooddonation.org/ausreform.html http://www.libertyeducationforum.org/downloads/1h_whtpa_pbl00.pdf
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