Am I Guilty Of Murder?
I made my three month appointment to give blood today at my local blood bank. The country always seems to be in some kind of blood shortage crisis and I being one to want to do my part (plus maybe temporarily help my blood pressure...though that's debatable...*LOL*), decided to once again, donate some of mine.
One of the questions that is asked on the form is if since 1977 I have ever engaged in a sexual act with another male, even once? I always answer this question with a no, even though obviously I have engaged in sexual acts with men.
Part of the reason I answer that question with a no is because I know not doing so would lead to more questions and likely I would be rejected as a blood donor. I doubt that only happens in South Africa.
It's obvious that the concern is if you've engaged in homosexual activitiy, that the odds of your blood being infected with HIV or any other STD increases.
I inadvertently mentioned to Eugene that I always answered no to the "sex with men" question. After calling me a liar (which I am in this case), he flat out called me a murderer. He pointed out that if I couldn't be honest enough to answer a question correctly, then I shouldn't be giving blood.
What pushed his buttons was a recent CNN newstory he saw on the fastest segment of new HIV patients being black women who has a black male partner (husband, boyfriend, etc) that engages in sex with men. The 'DL' phenomenon is obviously nothing new. Even when Oprah had J.L. King pimp his book on living on the 'DL', the problem had been known for a while. As tragic as these cases are, the majority of these women received HIV from their unfaithful partners, not a blood transfusion.
He also mentioned that people like me who lie about that question but may have HIV, risk infecting the population. According to this article, however, the odds of that happening is less than one in a million. Also all blood from my understanding is screened and checked for numerous diseases, including HIV.
Eugene actually bought up yet another point that I really couldn't refute. Yet. (Heh.)
There is usually a two to three month period of time where the HIV antibody is undetectable in blood. What if someone who doesn't want to share his sexual activities decides to give blood less than three months after having risky behavior. It is possible that the virus could in fact be in the blood yet remain undetected. There are several cases where that's been said to have happened.
I don't know. Maybe I am a murderer. Three times over since one transfusion can potentially be used on up to three patients.
Either way, maybe I'll go back to my hiatus on giving blood. Besides it's not like it's a medical fact that giving blood helps with high blood pressure.