I was having a discussion with my wife tonight about giving blood and all the eligibility requirements that the Red Cross has added to keep the blood supply disease-free when we realized, that I can’t give blood. I hadn’t ever realized that before. I’ve not been a regular donater of blood by any stretch, because I have extremely difficult to locate veins and drawing blood is quite the adventure when it’s necessary, it never really seemed worth the effort when it wasn’t necessary.
You see the Red Cross eligibility guidelines are very strict when it comes to HIV risk.
You should not give blood if you have AIDS or have ever had a positive HIV test, or if you have done something that puts you at risk for becoming infected with HIV.
You are at risk for getting infected if you:
(Among a list of risk-factors)
– are a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977
I was molested by aother male as a child and into my teens. Well after 1977.
I’m not going to get into a debate over whether they’re correct or not. I’m not in the medical field, I trust them to know better and to err on the side of caution, so I understand why they have these guidelines. I’m just left feeling more of a loss. After all these years of work, and all the progress I’ve made dealing with the issues surrounding my abuse, I found something else that was stolen from me.
I don’t know that I can put this into words so that you’ll understand why this makes me sad. I just somehow feel victimized, again. Even though I had no plans to donate blood, having the choice to do it taken away hurts.
Actually that’s not the way I read it, it seems to say that if you are at risk, which by their definition I am, you shouldn’t give blood. I could simply lie about it, knowing that I’ve been tested and tested and I am HIV-, but the way it makes me feel to look at the definitions wouldn’t change, even if I did give blood!
Mike – I understand your pain, honest I do.
But at the same time, while you have that unwanted experience in your past – you should also know that the rule states that you are at RISK of having HIV if…it doesn’t state that you can’t be tested and tested and tested and you CAN give blood every year and they test it for HIV before they even use it. IF it has HIV + then you will be notified and the blood will be disposed of and not used…believe me, I know – I went through it, and I am HIV free…
it makes perfect sense…