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Blood donation policy about safety, not discrimination

By Scott Tibbs, March 21, 2009

A March 20 letter to the editor in the Indianapolis Star questioned why the Food and Drug Administration does not allow blood donations from homosexual men. The author claims that this is "discrimination" because "HIV/AIDS is not just a gay male disease." I respectfully disagree with the conclusion and want to point out that this is for safety, not for the purpose of discriminating against anyone.

The Centers for Disease Control web site reports that an estimated 452,111 cases of AIDS (though 2005) are the result of "male-to-male sexual contact" while the next highest category (Injection Drug Use) resulted in 168,314 cases of AIDS. The ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) reflects this reality.

Let's be clear. This is not about safety, but about homosexual rights. The extremists in charge at San Jose State University petulantly banned blood drives on campus because of this "discrimination" in 2008. Preventing efforts to collect blood for those who need it in the name of political correctness is a selfish and heartless act meant to advance a political agenda at the expense of those whose health depends on donated blood.

MSM are not a large enough portion of the population to significantly affect the available blood supply if they were allowed to donate. There are other avenues we can (and should) pursue before we put the blood supply at risk in the name of egalitarianism and political correctness.