Gay man lied when giving blood.

Tower-Union

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 6, 2009
445
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http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009/10/06/11327066-sun.html

OTTAWA -- A gay man testified Tuesday that he lied when asked if he’d had sex with other men when giving blood because he knew he’d be “blacklisted” and wanted his donations to help others.

Kyle Freeman, 36, said he felt he wasn’t at risk because he got HIV tests regularly and didn’t have unprotected anal sex except with a long-term partner when both had been tested. The court has heard, however, that he contracted syphilis and gonorrhea.

Canadian Blood Services is suing Freeman for lying when he gave blood.

The Thornhill, Ont., man is countersuing, arguing the agency’s lifetime ban on donations from men who’ve had sex with another man — even once — since 1977 is scientifically unjustified and violates his constitutional rights.

“My father was a blood donor — we were always taught that’s the ultimate way to help people,” Freeman told the court. “It’s the ultimate gift you can give someone.”

Freeman’s lawyer, Patricia LeFebour, started taking him through each of his 18 blood donations, starting in high school. He repeatedly said no when asked by nurses if he’d had sex with other men.

“I felt my risk was non-existent,” he said. “I don’t believe I participated in high-risk activities because I used a condom and got tested.”

“I wanted the blood to be used. I knew that if I would have answered yes I would have been excluded from having my blood used. Once they found out I was in a same-sex relationship I would not be able to donate blood anymore.

“I would be blacklisted.”

Freeman said that before each blood donation he’d avoid sex for three months, get tested for HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, then give when he got the negative results.

Freeman, an Israeli immigrant who runs a pet-sitting business, described his struggle to come out to his family and being the victim of anti-gay harassment. He and his partner were threatened for holding hands at Toronto’s Caribana festival last year, and Freeman was told in army reserve training when he was a teenager that gay recruits would get a “blanket party” — a beating.

Freeman is backed by the gay rights group Egale, which argues the ban sends the hateful message gay men are perverted, diseased and responsible for AIDS.

Canadian Blood Services — backed by the Canadian Hemophilia Society — argues the ban is essential to protect the blood supply because gay men are simply more likely to have sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV.

megan.gillis@sunmedia.ca

So what do you think? Is it discrimination to refuse blood donation from someone because of their sexuality? Even if it is proven that this particular group (gay men) has a higher rate of STD's, including AIDS?

Either way this guy is a douche bag for giving blood despite contracting syphilis and gonorrhea :rolleyes:
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
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London, England
I don't think it's appropriate to exclude blood simply because the donor is homosexual. I think it assumes too much. There are plenty of gay couples in long-term monogamous relationships and I'd be happy to take that blood over some slutbag who just happens to go in the front door instead of the back.

I think there should be more focus on the safe or not safe sex the donor has rather their sexual orientation.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
The ban does seem silly, but I think he went about it the wrong way


Also, the blood has to be tested right? If its tested and clean, who cares if a male donor has sex with another man?
 

DiamondMac

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2006
3,299
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Washington, D.C.
The ban may be silly but he lied

So, I have no problem with them going forward with this

Again, I am for gay marriage. But they asked him a question (unfair or not) and he lied about it.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
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A geographical oddity
I don't think it's appropriate to exclude blood simply because the donor is homosexual. I think it assumes too much. There are plenty of gay couples in long-term monogamous relationships and I'd be happy to take that blood over some slutbag who just happens to go in the front door instead of the back.

I think there should be more focus on the safe or not safe sex the donor has rather their sexual orientation.
That's all fine and dandy, but the blood supply isn't a place to make a political statement. That's something that needs to be changed from the outside, not by contravening established medical protocol by saying: “I felt my risk was non-existent,” he said. “I don’t believe I participated in high-risk activities because I used a condom and got tested.”

Feelings and personal beliefs don't belong in medical science any more than they do in biological science.

Also, the blood has to be tested right? If its tested and clean, who cares if a male donor has sex with another man?
Resources and chance of error. Resources are precious and an error could be life-ending. If testing was the easy, plentiful, cheap and perfect, we wouldn't need to have any screening questions.

I am curious - what is the <applicable disease or other issue> rate among the various screened-out groups. Even if we droppped the lowest infection rates, something tells me that the "lived in Europe" groups would be the first to drop off of the list.
 

jmann

macrumors 604
I have lied while giving plamsa too! Especially on the question about sex with a man! Do I care one bit? No. You can hate me all you want for lying. But I really don't give a **** because my plasma will be tested like everyone else, and I know I'm clean. And if there was a problem then they will have tested for it while screening the samples.

And want to know what happened in the end? I ended up being "outed" at the plasma bank, probably from someone from my work that knew an employee there. So I technically am "blacklisted", but do I feel bad about it? Nope, not one bit. Did I deserve it? Probably a bit because I lied, but I tried donating to help others as well as earn me a bit of cash in the process. Listing non-homosexual activity as a requirement for donating is completely archaic. :D
 

Tower-Union

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 6, 2009
445
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Feelings and personal beliefs don't belong in medical science any more than they do in biological science.
Well said.

Also, its true the blood has to be tested, but taking blood from a high risk population would ultimately be a waste of time and resources, you have to screen the person, take the blood, test the blood, and then throw it out because its no good. Would you make the same argument of "well it gets tested. . ." if we were talking about intervenous drug users? With that logic why bother screening at all?

Maybe a better questions would be "have you engaged in anal sex in the past" or, "how many sexual partners have you been with?"
 

jmann

macrumors 604
Maybe a better questions would be "have you engaged in anal sex in the past"
So that all of the straight people who like anal sex can be excluded? I think that this is divulging a bit too personally into people's sex lives.

But honestly an easy settlement would be to require "gay people" to have documented proof from the last 30 days saying they have been tested clean. That at least would minimize the "risks". It's still a pain, but I would do it.
 

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
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A few years ago (80's) when the military was going through HIV/AIDs training, high risk groups were identified statistically. Gays were among the high risk groups. So were IV type (needle) drug users among others. Appropriately, the blood collectors do not want tainted blood in their reserves and thus do not collect from those who belong to high risk groups.

Anyhow, when you give blood there are many disqualifying criteria these days. I don't see it as discriminatory but rather to ensure the blood supply is safe to use.

FWIW, this comes from the perspective of someone who's friend's brother died of a tainted blood transfusion that contained HIV. And yes, they won a 10 million dollar suite against the Air Force for having tainted blood. Donating blood is serious business for the medical profession.

Personally, I've been on both ends of the spectrum, giving and receiving. When I receive blood I don't give a hoot who it is from as long as it is good blood plasma and it is safe. Coincidentally, I expect the blood collectors to employ methods that ensure this.
 

Unspoken Demise

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Apr 16, 2009
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Seems like an outdated law. Maybe a new standard for blood donation should be you bring a note signed by a doctor that you are free of STDs? Just a thought.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
That's all fine and dandy, but the blood supply isn't a place to make a political statement. That's something that needs to be changed from the outside, not by contravening established medical protocol by saying: “I felt my risk was non-existent,” he said. “I don’t believe I participated in high-risk activities because I used a condom and got tested.”

Feelings and personal beliefs don't belong in medical science any more than they do in biological science.
Okay, I can't say I disagree with anything you've said (and I don't condone his lying/assumptions of safety) but I don't agree with the ban for the reasons I already mentioned.
 

sushi

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Jul 19, 2002
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Seems like an outdated law. Maybe a new standard for blood donation should be you bring a note signed by a doctor that you are free of STDs? Just a thought.
The problem with some diseases, such as HIV, there can be a considerable time between infection and when you show up positive on a test.

Others like Herpes a person can be a carrier and infect others, yet show no symptoms themselves.

Then there is Syphilis and it's various stages that can go undetected.

There are many bad diseases out there, that much is certain. :eek:
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
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Salt Lake City, UT
I lived in England for 2 years and can't donate blood. I'm not upset one bit about this and appreciate the caution that is taken over these matters. I think effort should be toward encouraging eligible people to donate blood rather than make screening more lenient. This literally is a matter of life and death and not something that should be trifled with.

P-Worm
 

Unspoken Demise

macrumors 68040
Apr 16, 2009
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The problem with some diseases, such as HIV, there can be a considerable time between infection and when you show up positive on a test.

Others like Herpes a person can be a carrier and infect others, yet show no symptoms themselves.

Then there is Syphilis and it's various stages that can go undetected.

There are many bad diseases out there, that much is certain. :eek:
Ah, very true points. Suggestion retracted. :eek:
Well we can all agree this is an out dated law.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
I lived in England for 2 years and can't donate blood.
Really? Like you can never donate blood again because you lived in England? I wonder why that is.

My husband (whose blood type is always in demand) went to donate blood and they said he had to come back later because he had been to the US in the last 28 days.

http://upc.*************/uploads/smilies/panic.gif Foreign cooties!
 

Gelfin

macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2001
2,166
4
Denver, CO
Really? Like you can never donate blood again because you lived in England? I wonder why that is.

My husband (whose blood type is always in demand) went to donate blood and they said he had to come back later because he had been to the US in the last 28 days.

http://upc.*************/uploads/smilies/panic.gif Foreign cooties!
It is a well-known medical phenomenon that if you draw a line in the dirt, everyone on the other side of that line immediately becomes riddled with pestilence. How cartographers sleep at night is anybody's guess.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
The problem with some diseases, such as HIV, there can be a considerable time between infection and when you show up positive on a test.

Others like Herpes a person can be a carrier and infect others, yet show no symptoms themselves.

Then there is Syphilis and it's various stages that can go undetected.

There are many bad diseases out there, that much is certain. :eek:
It's difficult for even me to get upset about this. They do what they have to I suppose. This guy should not have lied about this- look what happened. I know I would feel terrible if I ever gave anyone an STD. It's not worth it.
 

AP_piano295

macrumors 65816
Mar 9, 2005
1,076
11
I dont know about a ban on gay donation.

I suppose the decision is not w/o precedant (Anal sex does carry increased risk of contracting certain STD's)

But as stated above they might be better off evaluating people's sexual behavior gay or strait, rather than simplying blacklisting gay donations.

I would want to see some statistics before I would make a call one way or the other.
 

SLC Flyfishing

Suspended
Nov 19, 2007
1,486
1,639
Portland, OR
I spent some time in Portugal and they said I couldn't donate for something like 7 years (I'm going off what I remember, this was 8 years ago). They said it was due to the risk of me being a potential carrier of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which was hitting Portugal especially hard at the time.

I'm sure more is known now (maybe not, I haven't looked into it), but back then they weren't taking any chances with it, and for good reason. I was in no way upset, though I do donate when I get the chance now that I'm allowed again.

Edit: Looking at Sushi's link to the red cross, I can't tell if I never should have been turned away (appears it's 1980-1996 spent in those countries) or perhaps I should be lifetime banned. Either way, I took the people's word for it, and I've been allowed to donate in the past 6 or 7 month since I started doing it again. I'm 100% truthful about my history with the donation service too.

who knows?

SLC
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
It really bothers me that he lied. But ineligible non-gays could lie too. Maybe everyone should be subjected to a lie detector test prior to donation.
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
5,910
5,462
Bath, United Kingdom
Maybe a better questions would be "have you engaged in anal sex in the past" or, "how many sexual partners have you been with?"
*Scratches head*…
So anal sex is the only way you think you can become HIV+?

Got news for you… do you really think all those HIV+ straight men and women were all having anal sex or they're all intravenous drug users?
:rolleyes:

It is a stupid ban, but heh, I can deal with it.
Dumb f***s don't want my blood? Fine.