JUN 23, 2016 12:55 PM PDT

Why is Donating Blood So Restricted for Gay Men?


Donating blood is a friendly gesture by the public to give to those who are in need, but there are some restrictions in place to ensure that all blood samples remain healthy so that no one is accidentally given a blood-based disease, such as AIDS, which comes from the H.I.V. virus.

There was a long-standing ban on gay men donating blood due to the higher risk of contracting H.I.V. via unprotected anal sex, however in 2015, the United States's FDA made some changes. Now, a gay man simply needs to wait 12 months after having anal intercourse before they can be considered for donating blood.

These measures are in place because the anal lining is much thinner than the vaginal lining, and is more likely to tear during intercourse, which means the spread of blood-based viruses is more likely.

Once he has been cleared for not having the H.I.V. infection, he can donate blood just like anyone else. Modern blood screening techniques allow that blood to be tested for H.I.V. after the fact, and they are 99.9% accurate.

Why is there so much restriction on men who have anal sex and not women? It seems to come down to statistics and the FDA just wanted to play it safe so that no one is given H.I.V. positive blood. According to statistics, 72% of all new H.I.V. infections seem to come from gay men who partake in unprotected anal intercourse.

Of course, not all gay men have H.I.V. and it's impossible to contract H.I.V. from your partner if they don't already have it, so they shouldn't need to worry right? Nevertheless, even if a gay man doesn't have H.I.V., they are still subjected to the 12-month waiting period if they recently had unprotected anal sex.

Modern blood screening checks for much more than just H.I.V., but also for other viruses, such as West Nile, Syphilis, Hepatitis, and Malaria among many others.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2018
Videos
NOV 06, 2018
Towards a Universal Flu Vaccine
Researchers have to design a new flu vaccine every year. But there are efforts to create a vaccine that works against all strains....
NOV 10, 2018
Videos
NOV 10, 2018
Engineering Viable Offspring From Same-sex Mouse Parents
Using a special kind of stem cell and genetic engineering, researchers have learned more about what's possible in reproduction....
NOV 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 24, 2018
These Are Some of the Most Extreme Dads in the Animal Kingdom
Being a dad isn’t always smooth sailing, but compared to a plethora of different species in the animal kingdom, human dads have it easy. The hardhead...
NOV 26, 2018
Videos
NOV 26, 2018
How to get rid of jet lag
Have you ever gone on an amazing trip somewhere only to have it totally ruined by jet lag? Jet lag is what we experience when our internal clocks are throw...
DEC 05, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 05, 2018
SpaceX Launches International Space Station Resupply Mission
On Wednesday, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX launched its 20th rocket of 2018 to send a fresh batch of supplies to the International Space Station. The rocket blas...
DEC 07, 2018
Videos
DEC 07, 2018
The Influence of Genetics on our Future
In recent decades, advances in genetic technologies have changed our world in many different ways....
Loading Comments...