For the time being, federal regulations prohibit male homosexuals from donating blood because of their increased risk of HIV/AIDS infection. Now, San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner has introduced a resolution to change that:
Weiner told KTVU in San Francisco that the city has to make a statement to the FDA that times and technology are changing. He charged, “It’s discriminatory, it has no basis in public health. All donated blood is heavily tested, and it’s depriving our country of a lot of blood that could be donated to help save peoples’ lives.”
It should come as no surprise that Scott Weiner himself is a homosexual who has been working tirelessly to promote homosexual causes. He and his like-minded friends act like this restriction is based entirely in an outdated and close-minded homophobia. But it’s not. Weiner’s cause is based largely in wishful thinking, and it could be very dangerous for public health. It’s not worth it.
Let’s look at some facts: male homosexuals account for about 4 percent of the American population (if you’re being generous), but they account for the majority of new HIV infections, according to the CDC:
Although MSM represent about 4% of the male population in the United States, in 2010, MSM accounted for 78% of new HIV infections among males and 63% of all new infections. MSM accounted for 52% of all people living with HIV infection in 2009, the most recent year these data are available.
So, I can’t imagine their small numbers would make a huge dent in the donor blood pool, but this tiny percent of donors could contaminate the blood supply very readily. For a tiny possible gain, you risk a huge potential loss. The math just doesn’t favor lifting the ban. Those who think that the screening will be able to remove infected blood from the supply are misguided, ignorant, malicious, or blinded to reality for the sake of a cause.
Because there’s one other fact that Weiner would like badly to overlook: even with all the high technology available for testing blood, HIV/AIDS can still get through. The latest instance was in 2008—hardly ancient history. And guess what? It was blood from a heterosexually married man who also had sex with men on the side. He had been giving blood for years, but had never told the blood center about his secret life. Had he been truthful, his HIV-infected blood never would have been put into circulation. It passed through the screening process because the HIV infection levels were too low to be detected at the time of donation. It would not have passed the risk factor questionnaire if he had told the truth.
Since he was a previous donor with no disclosed risk factors, he was allowed to give blood for a few years before his blood finally tested positive for HIV/AIDS. But by that time, some of his infected blood had gotten into the system and had infected a man who had a transfusion for a kidney transplant. The CDC ran an investigation and tracked the blood back to the lying, double-lifed bisexual, who at first refused to be interviewed:
Initially, the donor declined repeated contacts by MDHSS to be interviewed. In April 2009, he agreed to a brief interview with MDHSS, and an OraQuick rapid HIV test (OraSure Technologies, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) was performed. This test was reactive and confirmed by a positive Western blot at MDHSS. During his interview, the donor reported he was married but had sex with both men and women outside of his marriage, including just before his June 2008 donation. He indicated that the sex often was anonymous and occurred while he was intoxicated.
So, to reiterate, all the tests they run on blood cannot detect HIV/AIDS in every case. According to the CDC:
A lookback investigation determined that this donor had last donated in June 2008, at which time he incorrectly reported no HIV risk factors and his donation tested negative for the presence of HIV. One of the two recipients of blood components from this donation, a patient undergoing kidney transplantation, was found to be HIV infected, and an investigation determined that the patient’s infection was acquired from the donor’s blood products. Even though such transmissions are rare, health-care providers should consider the possibility of transfusion-transmitted HIV in HIV-infected transfusion recipients with no other risk factors.
So, it is possible, even with all the modern screening in place, for HIV/AIDS to be transmitted in transfused blood even when it doesn’t show up on a test. And in this case, and who knows how many countless others, the blood would not even have been collected if the donor had been truthful in his pre-donation questionnaire.
Homosexuals will point to the near non-existence of transfusion-related HIV infections as a reason why “the times have changed” and the ban is no longer necessary. Such logic is deeply, tragically flawed. The easiest and wisest policy to ensure the safety of those who need transfusions would be to keep the ban in place. The CDC recognizes this. By their own admission, the ban on male homosexual donors has been one of the major factors in reducing transfusion-related HIV infection:
Since then , the risk for transfusion-transmitted HIV infection has been almost eliminated by the use of questionnaires to exclude donors at higher risk for HIV infection and the use of highly sensitive laboratory screening tests to identify infected blood donations.
It is in part because of the ban that HIV infection in transfusion patients has been nearly eliminated. It makes no sense to lift the ban on the grounds that it has worked so well.
Intravenous drug users and male homosexuals are excluded from giving blood because they are at an extraordinarily high risk for HIV infection. This isn’t a discrimination in violation of human rights. It has nothing to do with a person’s nature—it has to do with risky behavior. There is solid scientific reason to disallow male homosexuals from giving blood. It’s not homophobic. It’s just good sense.
I sometimes wonder if homosexuals realize the extent to which they are at odds with reality. They desperately want to force the rest of us to accept their behavior as normal and healthy, but it’s clear that their behavior doesn’t deserve such an endorsement. I’m not being mean or resorting to stereotypes. It’s just reality. Homosexual behavior is self-destructive, destructive to society, against the normal course of nature, and almost always connected to psychological disorders and emotional trauma. No matter what you want to believe, that’s just the way it is. And normalizing the behavior won’t make it safer. It will just make it more dangerous for the rest of us. And if anything is a violation of human rights, that is.