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National Gay Blood Drive
July 11, 2014 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Today is the National Gay Blood Drive, a campaign dedicated to bringing attention to the fact that the FDA still bans any men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977 from becoming blood donors.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (98 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this is great! Very impressed they found a way to promote their cause working with and not against current blood donation standards.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:16 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Same thing in Canada. If you're an MSM since about the same year, no blood can be donated. Or organs. Or sperm, for that matter. It's outright blatant discrimination--all gays have the hivs, dontcha know.

And nobody is doing a bloody (ahem) thing about it. Canadian Blood Services refuses, as far as I can tell, to even have the conversation. The Federal government doesn't seem to acknowledge it's a problem, and I believe that courts can't even touch the issue because I don't think being barred from donating something gives you standing.

What really bugs me is that it would be super easy to filter. For one, I can't see any guys who know they're poz donating. For another, the rapid HIV test can be given right there at donation, along with a questionnaire about your sexual practices over the past 12 weeks, assessing your likelihood of recent or soon-to-be seroconversion.

This of course leaves aside all the men cheating on their wives and girlfriends without condoms, then coming home and fucking said partners without condoms. Since those women are being lied to, they have no clue they could be poz. Yes this is a thing that happens, it's documented, and for quite some time the YOY infection rates for (especially) women of colour were the fastest growing segment of the population precisely because of such men.

Discrimination, pure and simple. And sexual orientation is a protected class, Constitutionally, according to the SCC.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:34 AM on July 11 [19 favorites]


This policy is dumb on a lot of levels. HIV tests are nearly instantaneous these days. They may as well test everyone right there on the spot.
posted by Skwirl at 7:38 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


What really bugs me is that it would be super easy to filter.

In fact, all donated blood is tested for HIV already, by the Red Cross itself. Of course the antibodies don't show up right away, but that's a reason to ban people who may have been exposed in the last few months, not every gay man alive. There's no sane reason for this policy.
posted by crookedneighbor at 7:43 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Also people who lived in the UK in the 90's because of mad cow! If I had it, I'd be dead already.
posted by oneironaut at 7:45 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I'm just glad that I can't donate due to my shockingly low blood pressure or this question would come up and I'd have to punch somebody. As FFFM sort of says above, my wife should also not technically be able to donate by association, but it doesn't work that way. I do very much understand keeping blood donations safe for both sides, but it's not 1980 and it's not GRID anymore. We need to stop assuming and start testing - for everyone.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 7:46 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


This Wikipedia page has a chart listing MSM blood donor policies by country; unsurprisingly for an issue that is highly political, there is a wide range of policies, from no restriction to permanent deferral.

For one, I can't see any guys who know they're poz donating.

I've been banned from donating all of my adult life (not because of MSM but rather varying combinations of mad cow, travel, etc) and I've worked at a few places with intense pressure to join blood donation drives. People so want to hit their donation percent goals that even saying very directly "the FDA and CDC say that I cannot donate blood" (which I am fine with saying but a person who is HIV+ may not be comfortable stating openly at work) does not get them to back off, and people will say things like, "Just donate anyway, they test all the blood, right?"

What I'm describing isn't an FDA policy issue or has anything to do with why MSM should or should not be a disqualifying status, just reflecting the reality that there can be reasons why a person who shouldn't donate might do so (and hopefully will indicate their status on the prescreening, but again there are reasons why someone might not), and is part of the reason the testing and screening protocols need to be so strong.

The MSM ban seems stupid to me, but I wonder if perhaps it reflects weaknesses in the testing and screening processes in the US? I'd rather we strengthened those protections instead of banning icky gay blood, which is just dumb.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:46 AM on July 11


If it wasn't for the fact that I donated just a couple of weeks ago (I have O-, so I give double-reds every four months) I'd gladly volunteer for this. It continues to mystify me that a straight dude can admit to having sex with prostitutes, and that only red-flags him for a finite length of time, but gay people are basically seen as plague carriers.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:47 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Same thing in Canada.

Actually, no. There is a 5 year waiting period though.

With regard to HIV, CBS does two HIV tests now before accepting donations. This is personally frustrating to me, I (used to) fail the antibody test because of a flu variant that was going around in the early 90s. I went from someone donating nearly monthly to being ineligible within the period of a week.

But here's the thing: CBS has to keep the blood supply safe, and that trumps everything. They adapt to new science and new testing (see changes for MSM candidates above), but no one wants a repeat of the HIV and hepatitis transmission cases of the 80s and 90s. That just about killed the Red Cross in Canada entirely, and lead to the creation of CBS in the first place.
posted by bonehead at 7:47 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


feckless fecal fear mongering: "What really bugs me is that it would be super easy to filter. For one, I can't see any guys who know they're poz donating. For another, the rapid HIV test can be given right there at donation, along with a questionnaire about your sexual practices over the past 12 weeks, assessing your likelihood of recent or soon-to-be seroconversion."

There's a closely-related problem: Most people still believe that HIV tests require a 4-6 month window period, even though the current 4th and 5th-generation test systems are accurate around 4-6 weeks after the initial exposure (and this is by the FDA's extremely conservative reckoning).

I still hear medical practitioners tell patients that the window period is 4-6 months "to be safe," which, again, is bullshit. Nobody seems to be updating their advice to match the capabilities of current technologies (which have now been in widespread use for more than 10 years).

That being said, even rapid HIV tests do have a window period. There are good reasons for keeping donated blood under quarantine, and preventing individuals with extremely risky behaviors from donating blood. However, MSM doesn't fit the criteria.
posted by schmod at 7:49 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Dip Flash: "People so want to hit their donation percent goals that even saying very directly "the FDA and CDC say that I cannot donate blood" (which I am fine with saying but a person who is HIV+ may not be comfortable stating openly at work) does not get them to back off, and people will say things like, "Just donate anyway, they test all the blood, right?""

The last time I donated blood (in the US, around 2005), I filled out the paperwork, one of the clinic's workers reviewed the documents, asked me verbally if I was being truthful, and then gave me two stickers with barcodes on them:

Barcode A indicated that I had answered truthfully on the questionnaire, and that my blood should be processed and donated.

Barcode B indicated that, for whatever reason, I had either answered the questionnaire untruthfully, or had some other concern that my blood should not be donated. If I attached this sticker, the blood would be destroyed as soon as it entered the processing center.

The clinic worker left me in a booth by myself, told me to attach one of the barcodes to my forms, and discard the remaining one at home (for privacy purposes).

The two barcodes were visually-identical, and presumably help to reduce risks associated with individuals being coerced into giving blood.
posted by schmod at 8:00 AM on July 11 [25 favorites]


But here's the thing: CBS has to keep the blood supply safe, and that trumps everything.

Sorry, no, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms trumps everything. With rapid HIV testing available, this policy is now purely discriminatory and therefore illegal. But it's not possible to prove harm by being restricted from donating, so as I said, no MSM can have standing in court.

And five years? That's just fucking stupid. Show me an MSM who hasn't had sex in the past five years.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:07 AM on July 11


Show me an MSM who hasn't had sex in the past five years.

Hey, it's better than 37.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:09 AM on July 11


It's still not a thing that is even remotely reasonable to believe.

I've worked at a few places with intense pressure to join blood donation drives

Yeah we had a couple of those in highschool. My lie was that due to a medication I was on I couldn't donate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:11 AM on July 11


(BTW, I was being sarcastic. For all purposes, five years is probably the same as thirty seven.)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:12 AM on July 11


And five years? That's just fucking stupid. Show me an MSM who hasn't had sex in the past five years.

Come on. There are gay guys who can't get laid, too.
We just had a thread about microaggressions, I think this is a good example of one in action.
posted by tumbleweedjack at 8:18 AM on July 11 [18 favorites]


(Although obviously the point has been made above that even being extremely conservative, 6 months would be a reasonable amount of time to defer blood donations considering current testing science)
posted by tumbleweedjack at 8:19 AM on July 11


Of course the real reason MSM can't give blood is because Good Americans are afraid they may get some faggot blood in them. It's pure homophobia, the science hasn't supported this ban for years.

Related: in 1990 Haitians were forbidden from donating blood in the US as a high risk group. That policy was reversed under intense pressure because of the obviously racist effect of it.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I mean, fuck:

"Have you had sex with another man in the past five years?"
"Why yes, I have remained celibate just so I could donate blood today."

The questionnaire should be:

1) Have you ever been tested for HIV? What was the date of your last HIV test?
2) Are you HIV+?
3) Have you had sex with a man between the six weeks before your last test and now? When?
4) What kinds of sexual activity did you engage in? (Tick all boxes that apply: Oral sex / receiving / giving, with condom/without condom. Anal sex receiving/giving, with condom/without condom. Etc. Basically the questions that the Hassle Free Clinic asks to assess your risk factors. Obviously "bareback bottomed last night," e.g. would be a disqualifier)
5) Will you consent to a rapid HIV test right now?

In one stroke that ends the illegal discrimination, provides a nice and accurate picture of recent sexual practices and risk factors, and tests for presence of HIV antibodies all in one go. All done nice and privately on a written questionnaire as currently done, and do the barcode scheme mentioned above, and CBS covers all their bases.

Including increasing the blood supply nationwide, which is always in dire need.

Come on. There are gay guys who can't get laid, too.
We just had a thread about microaggressions, I think this is a good example of one in action.


Oh FFS don't lecture me about microaggressions. Unless you're a gay man I know a hell of a lot more about the gay community than you do, and a MSM with five years of celibacy under his belt would be a statistical outlier so far you couldn't see it with binoculars, barring MSM married to women who aren't cheating (and the shortest perusal of Craigslist in any city anywhere will show you how many of those there are).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:25 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


There should also be a question about Truvada PrEP now that I think about it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:27 AM on July 11


If I had it, I'd be dead already.

Nobody knows the typical incubation period for vCJD. The CDC suggests that there may be a second wave of deaths decades after exposure. Non-variant CJD almost never manifests until after the age of 60, so we're basically waiting to see if deaths start increasing sharply - particularly in the UK where we know there was BSE exposure - pretty much any time between now and 20 years from now.

If anything, the BSE restrictions are pointless because they are a guess.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:30 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


FFFM: Uh, yes I am? And I don't think I need to be one to say that your implication, "all gay guys have sex frequently" plays perfectly into stereotypes about gay men. (I also agree that it's stupid that the notion that a group of people has sex frequently should be considered stigmatic, but that's the way it is in the USA at least)

That said, I agree with the rest of your comments about how the questionnaire should work.
posted by tumbleweedjack at 8:36 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Refresh my memory, aren't people with recent tattoos and piercings turned away, too? Not that that has anything to do with the gay ban, just seeing if I remember correctly.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on July 11


Show me where I said frequently? I didn't. Precisely because I wasn't contributing to that stereotype.

I said that an MSM who hasn't had sex with another man in five years is a statistical outlier.

It would be so nice if people read what I actually wrote.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:38 AM on July 11


jonmc: that's correct, at least in Canada. I think the period is still 'past twelve months.' And it's a pretty reasonable bar, because not all piercing/tattoo places are as sterile as one might hope.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:39 AM on July 11


jonmc, here are the requirements according to the Red Cross. There's a lot of them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:40 AM on July 11


Five years sounds like a hell of a dry spell for anybody, gay or straight or whatever.

Lots of stupid blood donation rules. I can't donate due to hemochromatosis - a genetic predilection to having a little too much iron. Even though it's asymptomatic, and GENETIC... i.e. not contagious.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 8:41 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


the Charter of Rights and Freedoms trumps everything

There's no right in the Charter for blood donation; there is for security of the person. Prostitution and drug use, for example, still have lifetime bans.

While I'm quite willing to believe institutionalized homophobia plays a part in this, the groups concerned about relaxing the ban include the hemophiliac society, the kidney foundation and the thalassemia foundation. A five-year deferral was a balance that took a decade or more to negotiate with all these groups. These were the among folks who suffered most heavily from HIV and Hep B/C transfers from bad donations.

I don't think it's fair to see this as the end point. As the Canadian AIDS Society says:
We are in support of the 5-year time-based deferral as an incremental step with qualifiers for blood donation. With this important shift in their policy, we believe that there will be an opportunity to gather further evidence to create an even shorter time frame for the deferral in the future and the potential to develop a gender-neutral screening policy some day.
This 5-year period appears to me to be a first step, not the last.
posted by bonehead at 8:43 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


tumbleweedjack: "(Although obviously the point has been made above that even being extremely conservative, 6 months would be a reasonable amount of time to defer blood donations considering current testing science)"

I'll stop harping on this issue after this comment, but there's a wide gap between what's intuitive, and what's supported by scientific evidence. (In fact, several of the markers are more detectable immediately after the initial exposure)

PrEP and ARV therapy are much more interesting questions, as FFFM mentioned above. I do know that some individuals with "well-managed" HIV have essentially undetectable viral loads.

The microaggresssion bit is irrelevant, again, because you're just as detectable at 6 weeks as you are at 5 years.
posted by schmod at 8:50 AM on July 11


I even tried to donate as a woman who is the wife of a bisexual man. I mean, the good news (I suppose) is that I only have a 1 year deferment from the last time I had sex with a MSM, which makes sense precisely how? The taint only extends through gay male sex, you see, and I only remain tainted during the period of re-exposure to a gay.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 8:51 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


I said that an MSM who hasn't had sex with another man in five years is a statistical outlier.

I don't want to start a whole thing here and I don't necessarily disagree, but this does exist. I have been happily married for 15 years and have only had sex with my wife for longer than that. I am confident that she has done the same. It doesn't diminish my past or hers or who she or I may have had sex with in the past. At the same time it may disqualify me from giving blood due to the silly restrictions in place.

Also, I know people who haven't had any kind of sex in 5 years. It may be a "statistical outlier" sure, but those people are all around you. The bigger issue seems to be reducing the homophobia, personal issues, etc. and getting to the actual risk factors that are real and should be screened for. The standards as they are don't make sense. Of course it will never be a perfect system with self reporting, but we can screen the blood that was given as best we can and then all be allowed to donate equally. There are too many personal opinions seeping into the system to make it work as best it can.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 8:59 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Nobody knows the typical incubation period for vCJD. The CDC suggests that there may be a second wave of deaths decades after exposure. Non-variant CJD almost never manifests until after the age of 60, so we're basically waiting to see if deaths start increasing sharply - particularly in the UK where we know there was BSE exposure - pretty much any time between now and 20 years from now.

If anything, the BSE restrictions are pointless because they are a guess.


I was under the impression that two amino acid substitutions were known to have 'fast' (16 year) incubation times with everything else (and the 'normal', 'wild type' sequence) having an undetermined incubation time.

Born in the UK, 1987 and visited multiple times during the 90's and now no one will take my blood. Though they'll still use dentist tools on me that they reuse despite me having mentioned it. Going to have to go dentist-free. For the good of the world. A terrible sacrifice I am willing to make.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:00 AM on July 11


PrEP and ARV therapy are much more interesting questions, as FFFM mentioned above. I do know that some individuals with "well-managed" HIV have essentially undetectable viral loads.
THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A Mississippi girl born with HIV who was thought to be cured by immediate and aggressive drug treatment has relapsed, with new tests showing detectable levels of the AIDS-causing virus in her bloodstream, disappointed federal officials announced Thursday afternoon.

The girl, now nearly 4 years old, had remained virus-free even though she stopped taking HIV medications when she was 18 months old. Doctors had hoped her remission would open the door to a functional cure for all children born with the virus.

But a blood test taken during a routine clinical care visit earlier this month uncovered detectable HIV levels in her blood. Additional testing found that the girl also had a decreased white blood cell count and the presence of HIV antibodies, both of which are signs that an actively replicating pool of HIV has established itself in her body.
Self: ineligible for questionnaire reasons and something tripping an alarm that isn't actually anything that they can detect as an actual nameable illness or disease, and PLEASE DO NOT DONATE EVER AGAIN requests. I have had the A/B sticker experience as well.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 9:36 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The last time I donated blood (in the US, around 2005), I filled out the paperwork, one of the clinic's workers reviewed the documents, asked me verbally if I was being truthful, and then gave me two stickers with barcodes on them:

My Red Cross did this for a long time and then stopped, without replacing it with a similar "out".

The two barcodes were visually-identical ...

To you. If they were really identical then they would serve no purpose. Do you think the phlebotomists couldn't tell? I work with barcodes and you might be surprised how much a trained eye can pick up on. The only way this could have worked would be to have multiple "OK" codes and multiple "NOK" codes and mix them up. Like at least a dozen each. A lot of OK and one NOK would work too, assuming that the vast majority if donors would indicate OK, and the NOKs would be infrequent.
posted by achrise at 9:38 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


As a trans woman who has had sex with women as well as men but has never had "gay male sex", I am in the rather odd position of being able to fill out the questionnaire truthfully and in a way that would be accepted for donation.

I have a feeling they still wouldn't want my blood, though. If they knew, that is.
posted by tigrrrlily at 9:47 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


But here's the thing: CBS has to keep the blood supply safe, and that trumps everything.

If that were the case, they would be banning donations from aboriginal people, who have nearly four times the infection rate of non-aboriginal Canadians.

I'm gay and I'm Native - I've seen more than most folks in this country the effects of HIV infection in the lives of people I know and love. I also work in a health-related field and have seen the staggering shift in STI awareness between the cohort in their thirties and late twenties who came of age during the '80s and '90s and their younger counterparts. I talk to young women in their late teens and early twenties who are scrupulous about using birth control pills but who freely admit to having barrier-free sex with men they've just met at a club because they intend to date him and "he's not dirty" and "he's a nice guy" and, oh yes, "he's not gay."

Bans should be based on behaviour, not on who people's partners in the act are, or whether money was exchanged. People who have had unprotected sex in the last x number of years with someone whose STI status they were unaware of should not be donating blood, period. Are you in a monogamous sexual relationship? If not, do you use protection with your partners? Do you and new partners get tested before moving from protected to unprotected sex? Then you should be in a better position to donate, no matter your sexuality, than most members of the general public.
posted by northernish at 9:52 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Trying to put together the idea of excluding blood from MSM and this thread.

I can't view the video now, so is it explained there what they will do with the donated blood?
posted by jepler at 9:57 AM on July 11


I wonder why they can't filter that out, mrbigmuscles. As I understand it, most donated blood gets spun out into plasma, platelets, etc.

CBS eligibility, for comparison. And the donor questionnaire (PDF) (And I was wrong about tats/piercings, it's six months now)

This 5-year period appears to me to be a first step, not the last.

That doesn't make it any less discriminatory under the Charter. I can't be arsed to look up the actual SCC and Human Rights Commissions' specific decisions, but discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is flat-out illegal ad mare usque ad mare. It doesn't magically become not discrimination just because the time period is shorter and just as improbable a bar to clear as 37 years.

You didn't say it, but you implied it.

No, I didn't. That is, indeed, how it came across to you. I assure you that I wrote exactly what I intended, without implications.

All I'm saying is that it's a little insulting when people find the notion of non-sexually-active gay men to be categorically ridiculous

MSM who don't have sex with another man at any point in any five year period are a percentage of the community so small that, as I said above, it is basically an impossible bar to clear for a vastly overwhelming majority of the MSM population.

Also, I know people who haven't had any kind of sex in 5 years. It may be a "statistical outlier" sure, but those people are all around you.

They can't be "all around" me if they are statistical outliers. But hey, if you're going to say it's personal opiion, here's some data:

The CBS itself admits(PDF) that a 1 year deferment for MSM would still cover the window period for HIV. Meaning the 5 year deferment is discriminatory. They also note that there has not been a large cohort study on MSM and frequency of same-sex encounters over a five-year period.

A study by the CDC indicates that 76% of MSM report at least one male partner in the previous 12 months. (Scroll down to Results/Sexual Behaviour). The study didn't, in my reading, indicate what percentage reported 1 or 0 partners in the previous 12 months, let alone the previous five years.

According to Wikipedia, 2.9% of men in the USA have had at least one male sexual partner in the previous 12 months. (Cite to original data from the CDC, which includes a whole bunch of other data on MSM incidence and behaviour.)

This report[Auto-downloading PDF, at least in Chrome], from AMFAR, describes behaviour amongst MSM but as far as I can tell doesn't really look at how often MSM engage in same-sex activity.

There's also some interesting information here regarding frequency of MSM sexual activity over a much shorter period.

I only have a 1 year deferment from the last time I had sex with a MSM, which makes sense precisely how?

and

If that were the case, they would be banning donations from aboriginal people, who have nearly four times the infection rate of non-aboriginal Canadians.

Exactly my point. This is a science-free policy based purely on homophobia.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:06 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Working in an office where blood donation is nigh-mandatory is the worst. There are SO MANY reasons they won't accept my blood, and exactly zero of those reasons are ones that I want to talk about with my coworkers.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:14 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I'm banned for life from blood donation due to long term CJD exposure and to a needle incident with a zoonotic disease and a feisty dog. Weirdly enough I am still very welcome on the bone marrow donation list, which seems odd to me as surely both those things, if present, would be present in bone marrow too, no?

i dont really know how the human body works i admit it
posted by elizardbits at 10:25 AM on July 11


But yes, these rules for MSM are pretty openly gross and discriminatory and are based largely on prurient scandalized creepy assumptions that other populations of equal risk are not subject to.
posted by elizardbits at 10:27 AM on July 11


If it was really about "oh we're worried about risky sex acts" then no college kid in the northern hemisphere would be eligible for donation.
posted by elizardbits at 10:28 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


To you. If they were really identical then they would serve no purpose. Do you think the phlebotomists couldn't tell?

I would just make one a random odd number and one a random even number. I do not tend to think that a human could easily tell which was which by sight.
posted by smackfu at 10:30 AM on July 11


I have a feeling they still wouldn't want my blood, though. If they knew, that is.

Surprisingly, they are relatively good on the Trans front. From your description it sounds like you would be eligible to donate. If in your past you identified as a man and you also had sex with men that it would be a problem.

I used to work at the Red Cross and they did a lot of education on this topic with their phlebotomists. While I did not receive that training and only understand the policies on a superficial level, they really tried their best to not be a pack of jerks.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:34 AM on July 11


As a trans blood donor, it was pretty great how the phlebotomists immediately got my pronoun. Not so great that the reception team really doesn't. But back to great when this starts a side-eye and verbal emphasis war between the groups. And then the donuts and juice volunteers can't tell and don't care, and are basically seeing Dutiful Young Person Make Them Eat Donuts, Eat, Eat! And I chalk that up as a win.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:40 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


munchingzombie, that's great and all, really it is, I don't want to sound like it isn't, and it's good to know, thank you, but somewhere in my head there's a Morbo-like voice screaming WHAT KIND OF SENSE DOES THAT MAKE???
posted by tigrrrlily at 10:41 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I feel like so much of my life lately has been "Science says this, but we're choosing to ignore that for (shitty) reasons." Just, over and over and over. What is the event that's going to change that? Diminishing blood supply?
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:49 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


What is the event that's going to change that?

1) Fact-based education
2) The fall of far-right Christianity
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:00 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I wonder why they can't filter that out, mrbigmuscles. As I understand it, most donated blood gets spun out into plasma, platelets, etc.

Hell if I know, and I think you're right. What's funny, is somebody who just lost a bunch of blood is likely anemic and needs extra iron anyway. And to top it all off, the main treatment for hemochromatosis is... phlebotomy.
posted by mrbigmuscles at 11:01 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


While I'd support a more science-based standard:

prurient scandalized creepy assumptions that other populations of equal risk are not subject to

As near as I can tell, there aren't other populations of equal risk, at least not unless you're willing to define down to very small populations. The incidence of HIV among men who've had sex with men is about 40 times the incidence among other men or among women.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:25 AM on July 11


The incidence amongst First Nations people in Canada is 4x the incidence of the non-aboriginal population.

Then there's IDUs.

Plus, a not-insignificant number of those poz MSM then go home and have unprotected sex with their wives and girlfriends.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:32 AM on July 11


Oh jeeze; the only reason this is an issue is HIV stigma, and the comments here prove it. All the talk about "risky behavior"; HIV is a moral condemnation and it makes you sick to your stomach that gay people in general are associated with it by "bigots" instead of just the bad ones who participate in sinful behavior. That used to be gay sex period but we've all, conveniently for ourselves, tried to narrow that definition to exclude the good people we think we are.

The MSM blood ban throws a wrench into that. HIV is especially (understatement) high among gay men in developed countries (and how endearing of you to invoke the lowest status ethnic groups to throw under the bus to make your point, groups who not only are nowhere close to the infection rate of gay men, but aren't defined by a constrained sexual pool in the same way).

And these fantasies that anyone here has thought about this more conscientiously than the professional "bigots" behind managing the blood pool are ridiculous. No one is being hurt by not having their blood put in a donation pool; and it's way more important that there is zero chance of HIV being transmitted via a transfusion.
posted by deathmaven at 11:35 AM on July 11


and it's way more important that there is zero chance of HIV being transmitted via a transfusion

Again, as said above, if that were so then First Nations people would be banned as well.

Women who have sex with MSM would be banned as well.

Women who have had unprotected sex with men, period, would be banned as well.

People like friends of mine out west, who have been a gay couple since God was a small child, and have been 100% monogamous the whole time, wouldn't be banned.

This is, I repeat myself but what the hell, pure discrimination against an entire class of people. Discrimination that is explictly forbidden in Canada. No discussion, no hedging, full-on forbidden.

There are ways to keep HIV out of the blood supply that do not involve illegal discrimination against an entire class of people. Actually two classes, because discrimination based on gender is actually written into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I came up with one such method here. Perhaps you missed it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:43 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I should have responded to this also:

No one is being hurt by not having their blood put in a donation pool

Well, apart from the people who desperately need blood products to survive, with blood supplies always just barely meeting demand.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 AM on July 11


Sex of various flavors isn't the only thing that keeps trans women from donating: we also aren't allowed to donate if our HRT regimen includes dutasteride or finasteride (medications that block dihydrotestosterone).
posted by Corinth at 11:47 AM on July 11


all donated blood is tested for HIV already, by the Red Cross itself

And all positives are re-tested with a more specific test in order to confirm the result of the more sensitive first test. I know this not only from being a smarty-pants with friends in epidemiology, but also from personal experience.

If you do get even a false positive, the Red Cross will send you a very nice letter which informs you on the first page that your blood tested positive for HIV. Then, after your heart attack has subsided, you can flip to the second page where they let you know subsequent tests ruled that out. Also, that you can't donate blood anymore.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:53 AM on July 11


Again, as said above, if that were so then First Nations people would be banned as well.


And who would ever discriminate against them?

Anyway, does this population represent a pool distinct from those already banned in an effort to avoid HIV contamination, including MSM, women who have had sex with men who have sex with men, and history of using non-prescribed IV drugs?
posted by deathmaven at 11:55 AM on July 11


And who would ever discriminate against them?

I'm assuming that was rhetorical, disingenuous, or both.

Anyway, does this population represent a pool distinct from those already banned in an effort to avoid HIV contamination, including MSM, women who have had sex with men who have sex with men, and history of using non-prescribed IV drugs?

There are overlaps but that Venn diagram isn't a circle. Also, women who have had sex with MSM may or may not know they have, so that isn't specifically screened for. Please go reread the comment I made above outlining what the gender-and-sexuality-neutral, and thus not illegally discriminatory, questions about sexual behaviour should look like.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:00 PM on July 11


elizardbits - Weirdly enough I am still very welcome on the bone marrow donation list, which seems odd to me as surely both those things, if present, would be present in bone marrow too, no?


As with so much of this issue, this is because the HIV test (and other tests done on the blood) is not perfect. It's pretty damn good, but there is a known* false negative rate, i.e. a proportion of HIV+ samples that it'll allow to slip past. When you're dealing with many millions of donations per year, even a tiny false negative rate is a serious problem. You deal with this by some combination of:

(a) doing the test two, three, or more times and comparing the result (expensive);
(b) using a better test (either impossible or expensive);
(c) somehow reducing the number of HIV+ people who're going into the testing pool (blunt, discriminatory)

Matched bone marrow donors are much more rare than blood donors, so it makes sense for the bone marrow services to allow donors from high-risk groups, and bring the risk back down by throwing extra cash at the testing.

Obviously, how you define those "high-risk" populations is highly controversial. It's true that (in the US and UK, most recent figures I've seen), MSM as a group are much more likely than straight men** to be undiagnosed HIV+. So we're defined as a "high risk" population, which is weird and discriminatory. But is there a better, more specific question that you can ask (that everyone will know the correct answer to, and answer at least as honestly) that would do a better job of excluding the undiagnosed HIV+ population? Very possibly, and that's something that needs to be extensively tested.

What's interesting is that some large organisations (including the American arm of the Red Cross, IIRC) argue that the test really is good enough that the so-called "high risk" groups don't actually need to be excluded, without letting the transmission risk get too high. Frustratingly, I've never been able to find their research on this (mostly, the test failure rates and their definitions of acceptable risk), so it's difficult to know who to believe.

*Although surprisingly hard to find online. I'd love to see the figures if anyone knows a source.
**Obviously, some straight men are MSM. I'm struggling to find something acceptable that's shorter than "M(who don't)SM". My sincere apologies if I have offended anyone by being clumsy here.
posted by metaBugs at 12:04 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


It's pretty damn good, but there is a known* false negative rate

The rapid test, as used by the Hassle Free Clinic (linked above in another comment I made) throws no false negatives. There is a less than 1% chance it can throw a false positive, however, per the staff at the clinic.

But is there a better, more specific question that you can ask (that everyone will know the correct answer to, and answer at least as honestly) that would do a better job of excluding the undiagnosed HIV+ population? Very possibly, and that's something that needs to be extensively tested.

There is. "Which of the following sexual activities have you performed since six weeks before your last HIV test," as I wrote above. Gender-neutral, sexuality-neutral, doesn't force a label on anyone. I also linked above in a different comment to a bunch of research; following their references and such should lead you to those numbers.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:15 PM on July 11


(Er, to be clearer, it throws no false negatives after seroconversion. Obvs if you get tested before seroconversion you'd get a 'false' negative.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:18 PM on July 11


I'm assuming that was rhetorical, disingenuous, or both.

People (whites) bring up these groups (blacks in the US) as if they represent some sacred protected group who would never be barred, when it's clear there's no reason to do so since neither are and yet neither Canada nor the US currently has a problem with HIV contaminated blood (though maybe we'll find once every six years to be too many and get even more conservative). If somehow aboriginals or blacks proved dangerous to the blood surprise despite current screening parameters, I'm not sure why you're convinced being of Aboriginal or African descent wouldn't be added.
posted by deathmaven at 12:37 PM on July 11


Really? Given a few tens of millions of tests (conducted by fallible humans, remember), it will never produce a false negative? I find that extremely hard to believe. Awesome if it's true, of course. I'll continue looking through your links to see if I can find the numbers, but it's a lot harder to find than I would've expected.

Somewhat relatedly, in a thread back in 2012 en forme de poire quoted some compelling data in favour of at least dropping the lifetime ban.

Your question does sound a lot better. It needs to be tested (there's a surprising amount of subtlety in designing questionnaires, especially about stuff like health and sex), but FWIW I'd be strongly in favour of adopting it or something similar if it was shown to be at least as effective as the current setup.
posted by metaBugs at 12:39 PM on July 11


... Of course, it's unlikely that "tens of millions" of HIV+ samples would ever go into the system, so that part of my previous comment is unfair.
posted by metaBugs at 12:52 PM on July 11


when it's clear there's no reason to do so since neither are

What part of the incidence of HIV in First Nations populations is 4x more than the rest of Canada is unclear? I'm not advocating banning First Nations people from donating blood; I am pointing out, and you keep cherrypicking to avoid responding to, that these policies are blatantly discriminatory.

Banning First Nations people from donating would also be discriminatory.

Which, again is illegal in Canada under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The point is, there is literally no point at all in discriminating against an entire (protected!) class of people to keep HIV out of the blood supply. Why do you keep ignoring this point?

Really? Given a few tens of millions of tests (conducted by fallible humans, remember), it will never produce a false negative? I find that extremely hard to believe. Awesome if it's true, of course.

Hassle Free is utterly devoted to fact-based sexual health education. There is no reason at all for them to say that the rapid test (the new generation; the older generation of tests did throw false negatives) can give a false negative. In fact, they'd go to great pains to explain that it's possible to get a false negative result.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:53 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Y'all USAians have considered signing the "We The People" White House dot gov petition, right? It has a long way to go.
posted by achrise at 12:59 PM on July 11


No one is being hurt by not having their blood put in a donation pool

What a thing to say. Being discriminated against because of who you are hurts, full stop.
posted by wats at 1:12 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


In The UK there was a similar ban on men who had had sex with men donating blood, although it was lifted in 2011. You still can't give blood within 12 months of having had sex with another man, which still disallows practically anybody in a gay relationship from giving.

The current restrictions on blood donation still don't accept donations from anyone who has had sex with anybody from the following list within the last 12 months:-

- a prostitute
- someone who has injected drugs
- someone who has haemophilia (a condition that stops your blood from clotting normally)
- someone who has been sexually active in parts of the world where AIDS and HIV are common, such as sub-Saharan Africa
- a man who has had oral or anal sex with another man (if you are female)
- a man (if you are male).

The only remaining complete bans on donations are from people who:-

- have ever had HIV
- have ever had hepatitis C
- have ever had syphilis
- have ever had human t-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
- have ever injected themselves with drugs
- have ever worked as a prostitute
posted by dng at 1:24 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


What part of the incidence of HIV in First Nations populations is 4x more than the rest of Canada is unclear? I'm not advocating banning First Nations people from donating blood; I am pointing out, and you keep cherrypicking to avoid responding to, that these policies are blatantly discriminatory.

I'm not cherry-picking anything. I'm saying that apparently First Nations populations aren't relevant to pit against "the norm" of "the rest of Canada" because they pose no risk to the blood supply as current creenings stand. And despite your claim that you aren't advocating for banning them, that's what's implicit in singling them out to compare them to current pools who are banned from donating. (ETA: How exactly is the venn diagram not a circle anyway?)
posted by deathmaven at 1:51 PM on July 11


It seems like a lifetime ban is complete overkill and wasteful, but I don't think the principle of barring someone from donating blood based on risk factors should be considered inherently discriminatory. If the situation was still like it was in the 80's, the current rules would make some sense, but with the modern tests available, we could get a bunch more blood into the system with little risk.
posted by demiurge at 1:58 PM on July 11


The Venn diagram for the screening conditions you stated does not overlap perfectly with the First Nations population, and therefore does not screen out all FN people who donate blood which is going to be HIV+ at 4x the general population.

There is nothing implicit in what I'm saying. What I am saying is that if this were truly about preventing HIV from entering the blood supply, several other groups should be banned from donating. Explain to me how it makes sense to ban MSM from donating if they've had sex with another man in the past five years, whereas a woman who has sex with a MSM is only banned for one year? How are those situations any different, unless you assume that all gay men are barebacking and all women having sex with men are always using barrier protection?

And yeah, you're cherry-picking. You're ignoring, over and over and over, that these policies are pure discrimination against gay men, completely unsupported by science.

Please respond to that if you actually want me to take you seriously.

I don't think the principle of barring someone from donating blood based on risk factors should be considered inherently discriminatory

Barring someone based on risk factors isn't discriminatory. Barring an entire legally protected from discrimination class of people, however, is and always has been.

Most women sleeping with MSM have no idea their partners are MSM. And that sex is frequently unprotected on both sides. It's a Thing that has been studied.

Restrictions on blood donation need to be based on individual behaviour and risk factors, not "you're gay therefore you MUST have HIV so nope, we won't take your blood."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:05 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


tl;dr just go read my comment here because I am getting sick and tired of repeating myself to people making apologias for homophobic discrimination.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:08 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


There is nothing implicit in what I'm saying. What I am saying is that if this were truly about preventing HIV from entering the blood supply, several other groups should be banned from donating.

Oh, well fine, it's not implicit it's explicit.

unless you assume that all gay men are barebacking and all women having sex with men are always using barrier protection?


Ah ha, there's the sin.

Barring someone based on risk factors isn't discriminatory. Barring an entire legally protected from discrimination class of people, however, is and always has been.

The risk factor is having had sex with a man, as a man, within the last five years (or ever, in the US). It's not simply having a same-sex orientation.
posted by deathmaven at 2:11 PM on July 11


Still cherrypicking, and no it wasn't explicit. At all. You apparently (shockingly) missed the part where I said I would not want First Nations people banned en masse from donating blood.

"Explain to me how it makes sense to ban MSM from donating if they've had sex with another man in the past five years, whereas a woman who has sex with a MSM is only banned for one year? How are those situations any different,"

is what came before "unless you assume..."

Respond to that, please. You're not arguing in good faith here.

The risk factor is having had sex with a man, as a man, within the last five years (or ever, in the US). It's not simply having a same-sex orientation.

The two are indistinguishable in this case. Go read the data I posted above; 76% of MSM interviewed for one study said they'd had at least one partner in the previous twelve months. How many do you think have 0 partners in 60 months? Not bloody many.

Ah ha, there's the sin.

What the hell is that supposed to even mean?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:18 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Being discriminated against because of who you are hurts, full stop.

And it doesn't matter. Starting any analysis with a consideration of the feelings of the donors is starting from the wrong place. If a donor's feelings are hurt by a rule that screens them out, they're not there for the right reason. It isn't about them any more than a gay wedding is about the feelings of an evangelical baker.

Until tests are perfect, people managing supplies have the responsibility to consider other risk factors.

MSM has been one reasonable identifier for being part of a higher risk populations, more so at some times than at others. Recognizing this as a fact is not the same as thinking all teh gays have teh dizease. It's possibly an over-broad identifier. If the questions can be refined to welcome in a pool of willing donors who are similar to the general population (or better) in terms of baseline risk, great, sometimes we'll be able to help more people with more blood.

If not, nothing else matters. Blood donations shouldn't be about donors, their feelings, or their rights. They are all about the welfare of recipients and potential recipients. Non-discrimination in the identity sense simply isn't a relevant concept in donated emergency blood supply.
posted by namespan at 2:20 PM on July 11


Except that it very much is, because it is discriminating against an entire protected class (do I really have to keep saying that?) because a minority have HIV.

It is illegal to do this in Canada. Please try to understand that. Please also try to understand that discriminating against an entire class is pointless, partly because as I said above: "Explain to me how it makes sense to ban MSM from donating if they've had sex with another man in the past five years, whereas a woman who has sex with a MSM is only banned for one year? How are those situations any different,"

Seriously. Explain how that makes sense and isn't outright discrimination against gays/MSM?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:24 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


The constitutionality of CSB rules has been tested in 2010 in Ontario. The Superior Court of Ontario has found the the CSB ban is not discriminatory under the Charter.
posted by bonehead at 2:37 PM on July 11


When the SCC rules on it I'll care. It's discrimination. See my comment directly above.

What is the difference between MSM and a woman who has sex with MSM? One is barred from donation for five years, the other for one.

This is not discriminatory... how?

And uh, you failed to mention some rather salient details about that particular case.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:41 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Maybe this fight can come to an end? This is really back and forth about one thing, and maybe the rest of it could go to memail?
posted by stoneweaver at 3:16 PM on July 11


I think an article published to day in Science may (will) have a bearing on some future discussions and policies re: screening and the spread of HIV through different populations. From Nature: HIV is Sexist: Why it Infects Less Male Heterosexuals or its more formal title Selection bias at the heterosexual HIV-1 transmission bottleneck
posted by rmhsinc at 3:25 PM on July 11


I'd rather not go to memail. I want people to justify their attitudes in public. That's kind of the whole point of why we have posts and discuss them, rather than just linking with no commenting.

It's a really simple question to answer. I mean, for example, I should be allowed to donate. Both my ex and I were tested for HIV while we were dating; negative. I was tested a couple weeks ago (well outside the window period); negative (as well as for syphilis), and haven't had sexual contact with anyone since March.

There is no reason whatsoever why I should not be allowed to donate blood. None. Even the medications I'm on don't preclude my donation--only my sexual orientation does. How is that not discriminatory? What rational basis is there for denying me the ability to help other people?

rmhsinc: HIV affects heterosexual men less because vaginal transmission rates are incredibly low compared to anal transmission rates. In general, the insertive partner is at less risk (with no barrier methods used) of contracting HIV than the receptive partner is, male or female.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:34 PM on July 11


feckless--is that what the article says? Not quite my reading. Apparently it did not link so i will try again.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:39 PM on July 11


It's what I've been told by sexual health professionals.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:41 PM on July 11


Did you read the article--published today in Science and Nature and now linked
posted by rmhsinc at 3:43 PM on July 11


Starting any analysis with a consideration of the feelings of the donors is starting from the wrong place. If a donor's feelings are hurt by a rule that screens them out, they're not there for the right reason. It isn't about them any more than a gay wedding is about the feelings of an evangelical baker.

I hardly think the only implication arising from this form of institutional discrimination being allowed to continue is "feelings being hurt", and it is incredibly presumptuous to speculate on the reasons why those of us banned under this policy might object to being refused.

I am personally banned for donating blood for being in a monogamous relationship with the only male I have ever been with. How that gets me lumped into a category as "high risk" in some way, regardless of what my sexual orientation is, is beyond me (until I remember, oh yeah, homophobia). Why am I tarred with some scarlet letter due to the (mischaracterized) behavior of others with whom I share zero in common with aside from "preferred gender"?


Universal donor here, by the way.
posted by wats at 3:59 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Why am I tarred with some scarlet letter due to the (mischaracterized) behavior of others with whom I share zero in common with aside from "preferred gender"?

Thank you for proving my point in such an on the nose way. This is all about not wanting to be associated with the real sinners.
posted by deathmaven at 6:09 PM on July 11


In so very, very many ways you are so very, very wrong, deathmaven. In a really disgusting and insulting way, actually. In ways that make it clear you are not engaging in good faith, you're not reading what other people are saying, and you are cherrypicking weird bits to argue with.

This has nothing to do with 'sinners.' This has to do with excluding an entire group from donating blood on no rational basis whatsoever. There are plenty of ways to ensure safety of the blood supply, and barring all MSM from donating isn't a rational one. Barring people who are engaging in high risk behaviour, yes, that's rational. But that is a very small subset of the gay male population.

You keep avoiding the points being made by me, and now by wats. Universal donors are highly sought after by blood banks because their blood type is comparatively rare. And you still haven't explained why barring an MSM for five years after last same-sex contact, while barring a woman who has had sex with an MSM for only a year, is not stark evidence of discrimination.

What rational basis is there for excluding either me or wats, or indeed hundreds of thousands if not millions of other potential donors? Please, enlighten us.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:14 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Also what part of 'mischaracterized behaviour' was unclear?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:25 PM on July 11


A woman who has had sex with a man who has sex with men is still within a different sexual pool than a man who has sex with men, that is much less risky, not the least because it's much larger.
posted by deathmaven at 7:40 PM on July 11


[no one is required to have a private conversation, but neither is anyone entitled to dictate the terms of the thread. Fffm, please take a step back at this point. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 8:05 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I am allowed to refute deathmaven's ridiculous commentary.

woman + sex with MSM = man + sex with MSM.

Stepping back, but don't let that ridiculous statement stand. Delete both or neither.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:11 PM on July 11


> To you. If they were really identical then they would serve no purpose. Do you think the phlebotomists couldn't tell? I work with barcodes and you might be surprised how much a trained eye can pick up on.

I doubt that it's obvious even to the phlebotomists, but the real point is that the barcodes are indistinguishable to the other donors. The idea is that if a person feels obligated to go to a blood drive with someone who might discriminate against them for failing the donation criteria (eg, a gay student at a blood drive with a conservative parent he's not out to, an HIV+ person at a workplace drive, &c), that person can lie on the readable/overhearable answers and then go through all the motions of actually giving blood just as if they'd passed truthfully, while raising a silent flag to the Red Cross. The label serves to protect people from being accidentally outed, and to prevent nefarious others from using blood drive peer-pressure as a means of probing private health information.
posted by Westringia F. at 9:01 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


"Most women sleeping with MSM have no idea their partners are MSM. And that sex is frequently unprotected on both sides. It's a Thing that has been studied."

Made of Star Stuff's bisexual husband here. I don't know whether this is a Thing that had been studied, but want to point out that there is a long-standing stereotype of bisexual men being duplicitous sex-fiends, breaking gay men's hearts with one-night stands while recklessly exposing their unknowing wives and girlfriends to diseases.

So, you know, while we're on the subject of why I'm banned from donating blood, could we not do this offensive shit? Number of partners is a better predictor than whether a guy ever banged dudes, but it's no mystery why we use one and not the other. So don't shout SCIENCE like it's relevant. Nobody needs that kind of "refutation" of these policies.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 9:47 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Who the fuck did I describe as "sinners"? Or should the question be, who is it that you are trying to imply are sinners?

Or, you know what, never mind, I'm not interested in carrying on in whichever weird direction you're trying to steer this. That is not at all what I've said, and you know it.


The idea is that if a person feels obligated to go to a blood drive with someone who might discriminate against them for failing the donation criteria (eg, a gay student at a blood drive with a conservative parent he's not out to, an HIV+ person at a workplace drive, &c), that person can lie on the readable/overhearable answers and then go through all the motions of actually giving blood just as if they'd passed truthfully, while raising a silent flag to the Red Cross.


Wow, I cannot even imagine.. that whole scenario is like 4 layers of microaggression.
posted by wats at 9:48 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Made of Star Stuff: I'm sorry you took that meaning from what I wrote. It was completely unintentional. I was referring to closeted gay/bi men who cheat, and thus put their female partners at risk, and emphatically not referring to people who are honest with their partners. I'm too tired to look up citations but it is a thing that has been studied; for many years the fastest-growing poz population was women of colour who were fucking/dating/married to closeted men. These men wouldn't use condoms with their same sex partners because that meant it was sex (as opposed to something that dudes just do to blow off steam, so to speak) and they'd have to deal with the sociocultural baggage attached, and then come home and have unprotected sex with their wives and girlfriends. Look up 'downlow' culture for more info.

Again, I apologize profusely if it seems like I am coming across as tarring bi men with the duplicitous sex fiend brush. It was not my intention at all, and I can only claim poor wording that I didn't think was poor for giving you that impression. I am unequivocally sorry that I have done so.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:07 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Lyn Never. I think.
posted by oneironaut at 5:21 AM on July 12


Show me an MSM who hasn't had sex in the past five years.

Tim Gunn.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:29 PM on July 13


Who has, unless I'm mistaken, spoken of himself as asexual, so..
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:44 AM on July 14


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