Submission Title

Tainted Blood: Altering the Blood Donation Ban Affecting Non-heterosexual Men

Session Number

RS8

Location

Robinson 229

Abstract Number

RS8-c

Abstract

Currently, over 3 million men in America are unable to donate blood due to their status as a non-heterosexual citizen. While legislation has recently passed that makes same-sex acts lead to a one-year deferral from donating blood rather than a lifetime ban, this does not adequately aid the U.S. given its recent blood shortages and the impending blood shortage that may occur in the near future due to the Zika virus. Increasing the eligibility for these individuals to donate blood can lead to a large increase in blood supply without heightened risk of HIV contamination given blood-testing practices that are over a decade old. Nucleic acid testing – already in use by donation blood banks throughout America – is able to detect HIV within twelve days of infection. Based upon this, I propose a two week blood donation deferral for any citizen after an unprotected sexual encounter with a new partner.

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Apr 23rd, 10:45 AM Apr 23rd, 12:15 PM

Tainted Blood: Altering the Blood Donation Ban Affecting Non-heterosexual Men

Robinson 229

Currently, over 3 million men in America are unable to donate blood due to their status as a non-heterosexual citizen. While legislation has recently passed that makes same-sex acts lead to a one-year deferral from donating blood rather than a lifetime ban, this does not adequately aid the U.S. given its recent blood shortages and the impending blood shortage that may occur in the near future due to the Zika virus. Increasing the eligibility for these individuals to donate blood can lead to a large increase in blood supply without heightened risk of HIV contamination given blood-testing practices that are over a decade old. Nucleic acid testing – already in use by donation blood banks throughout America – is able to detect HIV within twelve days of infection. Based upon this, I propose a two week blood donation deferral for any citizen after an unprotected sexual encounter with a new partner.