Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Banning all gay men from donating blood is unscientific and wrong, say AIDS researchers

Date:
May 26, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Since 1983, blood agencies in Canada, the United States and many other industrialized nations have disallowed all blood donations from men who have sex with men. While a total ban was justified scientifically and ethically in 1983, in 2010 it no longer makes sense, say AIDS researchers in a new article.

It is time to change the policy that bans blood donations in Canada from all men who have sex with men, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Related Articles


Since 1983, blood agencies in Canada, the United States and other industrialized countries have disallowed blood donations from men who have sex with men because of the possibility of infection with HIV/AIDS. The exclusion barred men who had sex with men from 1977 onwards as it was determined this date preceded the start of the AIDS epidemic.

Prospective blood donors are required by Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec (and blood agencies in other countries) to complete a questionnaire about medical history and potentially harmful behaviour. Intravenous drug users, people with possible exposure to Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, people who have exchanged money for sex or drugs and men who have sex with men are all permanently deferred from giving blood.

However, while some industrialized countries such as France, Germany, the US and Canada have lifetime deferrals, others have shorter deferral periods: one year in Argentina, Australia, Japan, Hungary and Sweden, five years in South Africa and 10 years in New Zealand.

In 2005, an estimated 5.4% of homosexuals and bisexuals in Canada were HIV- positive, 67-fold greater than the general population. However, more than 95% of homosexuals and bisexuals in Canada are not HIV-positive.

The risk of a false negative, one reason for the ban, has been almost eliminated.

"With the development of more sensitive HIV detection tests, the potential occurrence of a false-negative result is now remote, since the system no longer relies exclusively on either the enzyme-linked immunosorption assay (ELISA) introduced in 1985 or the more accurate confirmatory Western blot test, also introduced in 1985," writes Dr. Mark Wainberg, McGill University AIDS Centre, Jewish General Hospital with coauthors.

A significant benefit to reducing the deferral period for men who have sex with men would be the enlargement of the blood donor pool. A one-year deferral would result in a risk of one HIV positive unit of blood being undetected in every 11 million units of blood. Another option would be a five-year deferral which in the US would result in 71,400 more donors.

"Current policy is counterproductive in regard to loss of donors, good will, student protests, potential boycotts, lawsuits etc.," conclude the authors. "It should be noted that policy, has, in fact, changed to now permit donations from persons of Haitian origin. It's time to change policy again."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark A Wainberg, Talia Shuldiner, Karine Dahl, and Norbert Gilmore. Reconsidering the lifetime deferral of blood donation by men who have sex with men. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.091476

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Banning all gay men from donating blood is unscientific and wrong, say AIDS researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525133209.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, May 26). Banning all gay men from donating blood is unscientific and wrong, say AIDS researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525133209.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Banning all gay men from donating blood is unscientific and wrong, say AIDS researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525133209.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins