In a move that would indicate political correctness trumps actual health concerns, the Department of Health and Human Services is considering allowing gays to donate blood.
The National Journal reports:
A policy that bars gay men from donating blood for life is “suboptimal,” advisers to the Health and Human Services Department said on Tuesday, and needs another look.
HHS asked a committee of experts on blood and tissue donations to reexamine the policy and see if there is a way to let at least some gays donate blood.
“If the data indicate that a change is possible while protecting the blood supply, we will consider a change to the policy,” HHS said in a statement.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an HHS agency, has banned blood donation by any man who has had homosexual sex because of the risk of the AIDS virus. Soon after the AIDS pandemic began in the 1980s, people such as hemophiliacs who received frequent blood transfusions or blood products began to become infected with the deadly and incurable virus.
Men who have sex with other men, including gay and bisexual men, have an HIV infection rate 60 times higher than that of the general population, the FDA says. They have an infection rate 800 times higher than first-time blood donors and 8,000 times higher than the rate of repeat blood donors. Tests cannot pick up a new HIV infection in the blood with 100 percent accuracy; because blood is often pooled, many people may be at risk from a single infected donor.
Oddly, people who lived in Britain in the 1980’s during the Mad Cow epidemic are not being considered to be able to donate blood. Yup, they’re still prohibited for public safety purposes.
So why allow practicing homosexuals while not allowing other at-risk people? I guess, the people who lived in Britain in the 80’s need to start marching in parades or threatening to vote against Democrats or something. Maybe then they’d be allowed to donate blood.
Senator John Kerry said he wished to see an end to the “discriminatory ban.”
But this should not be viewed as a civil rights issue. This is a public health issue. I’m just hoping the HHS sees it the same way.
I’m assuming that they’re all just posing about this as a way to seem all liberal for the gay voting block. I’m assuming they’re talking about it but won’t actually do it. They must know that if people started getting AIDS from blood tranfusions again they’d be run out of town on a rail, right? They do prize public safety over votes, right? Right?