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FDA Allows Gays To Donate Blood Now, But Only If They Promise Not To Gay

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look but don't touch, boys


Our public radio and respectable news-type outlets were all a-flutter Monday with the news that the FDA has lifted its decades-old ban on letting men who have sex with men donate blood. Hooray! Except that you now need to have abstained from hot hot double-sided man-on-man action for at least a year before you are allowed to pour out (another) one of your bodily fluids in service to your fellow person.

SPOILER ALERT: This is still a bullshit policy.

We're not going all crazypants and insisting there is no risk from infected blood or that testing is infallible or any such thing. In fact, as good as tests have gotten, there is still a chunk of time where you just can't tell if blood is swarming with HIV.

Now, however, tests can tell whether donated blood contains the virus in as little as nine days after the donor has been infected. The “window period” — during which a unit of donated blood might test negative but still infect the recipient — is the reason for continuing time-based bans on people who engage in various kinds of high-risk behavior.

Yes, except that the new guidelines only assume that men who have sex with men engage in high-risk behavior. See, in switching away from the lifetime ban but maintaining the year-long deferral, the FDA is relying upon the entirely truthful proposition that in the United States, men who have sex with men still account for the bulk of new HIV infections. But a blanket ban also assumes that all those man-sex-having-men are having anal sex, which is indeed the riskiest type of sexual contact. Well, receiving anyway. Being the top in the buttsex scenario gets your risk down to near p-in-v rates. And don't even get us started on oral, which is so un-dangerous as to not even get an actual risk-per-10,000-exposures number from the CDC.

The blanket ban also assumes that ladies who have buttsex are somehow magically not at high risk of contracting the disease from an HIV-positive partner as long as the ladies stick to unabashedly hetero dudes. If ladies hook up with dudes who like ladies and mens, then they're barred from donating for the year as well. So basically, if you have gay cooties -- even secondhand -- you need to go through a year of being gay cootie-free before you are allowed to go sit in a trailer or the cafeteria at your office and get slightly light-headed and eat some Nilla wafers and drink some distressingly warm orange juice. But you can be the riskiest motherfucker in Christendom and have unprotected buttsex literally on the floor of the blood donation trailer as long as it is good old-fashioned heterosexual buttsex.

Oh god we should probably go look at what Bryan Fischer and his fellow travelers think about this, shouldn't we? **Scans Google headlines quickly with hands over eyes like a child watching a scary movie.** Nope, nothing to see there, let's stop looking before we accidentally see anything and burst a blood vessel and end up needing a transfusion ourselves.

[Mashable / NYT]

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