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View Diary: Elizabeth Warren pushes to end blood donation ban for gay men (74 comments)

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  •  origins of the ban (1+ / 0-)
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    Although lifting the ban on blood donations by gay men is overdue, its original intent was important. Prior to the development of testing for HIV the major burden of HIV disease was borne by gay men. (male to male transmission is much higher than female to male in the US). Without being able to test blood for HIV antibodies--and it took years to get to that point-- the next best thing was to use epidemiological information to try to avoid transfusion related infections. IV drug users are also not able to give blood and there are other restrictions--some are HIV related and some are related to other blood-borne diseases. I haven't been able to give blood for several years because of yearly trips to malaria-endemic areas even though I take prophylactic medication and have never had malaria. It is all about trying to protect the blood supply.

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