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schencka
Another reason to not give blood



The Red Cross drives come and go, and I never give blood. This is because the Red Cross will not accept blood from "a man who has had sex with a man since 1981." True, I am not gay, but excluding gay men from donating is a discriminatory practice.

Now I understand where that policy came from: lax Red Cross quality-control procedures regarding who gets to donate and checking for certain diseases in blood:

In some cases, the lapses have put the recipients of blood at risk for diseases like hepatitis, malaria and syphilis. But according to the food and drug agency, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed to investigate the results of its mistakes, meaning there is no reliable record of whether recipients were harmed by the blood it collected.

The Red Cross, which controls 43 percent of the nation’s blood supply, agrees that it has had quality-control problems and is working to fix them. Both its officials and the drug agency point out that none of the identified problems involve the most serious category of infractions. For instance, the Red Cross does a good job of testing for H.I.V. and hepatitis B, officials on all sides agree. And in general, Red Cross blood is regarded as some of the safest in the world.
 
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