Gay Restrictions For Blood Donation And COVID-19 Crisis

Blood donation and COVID-19

Emergencies often require blood donations, and to maintain a supply of blood-maintenance of a proper system through which blood exchange occurs effectively is essential. Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic need for blood or plasma donation further increased. 

The demand, although increases but it also increases the workload leading to a situation. It is vital to follow law and blood donation regulations for donating or supplying blood. Moreover, blood donating centers do not give away blood to everyone who contacts them without any procedure.  

Similarly, blood donors also have to fulfill certain-requirements before donating their plasma or blood. Moreover, under certain conditions, people cannot donate blood. Thus, the blood centers are responsible for ensuring that individuals match the criteria for blood donors and blood recipients for donating and receiving blood, respectively. 

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Furthermore, blood bank duties include keeping a record of the blood available, its units, blood group, and much more detail. Another responsibility is to keep blood under aseptic conditions and standard storage conditions.

Due to the COVID-19, the list of instructions further increases. Moreover, men who have had COVID-19 and have sex with other men must wait three months before donating plasma. Furthermore, a certain percentage of individuals are under restriction for donating blood. Many blood banks are facing blood supply issues.

The Red Cross In Urgent Need Of Blood Ambassador

As the demand increases, the supply shall also increase. But that does not happen, leading to a shortage of blood supply and plasma donations. Like other blood banks and blood donation centers, there is a shortage in the Red Cross. Moreover, the Red Cross representative says that they require a blood ambassador. Furthermore, the ambassador is essential to regulate the blood cycle of donating, storing, and receiving. 

According to a Red Cross representative, the situation cannot be dealt with by some blood donors. They require proper blood ambassadors to ensure the cycle of blood donations continues within safety and efficacy measures. Moreover, in South Georgia, the Red Cross is willing to even import qualified blood ambassadors as soon as possible.

According to Sherry Nichols, pulling an ambassador from another blood organization is an option, but such actions are not efficient in the blood to thrive. Areas including Crisp, Tift, and Ben Hill counties are highly in need of blood ambassadors. 

Why Are Gay Men Under Restriction To Donate Blood?

Dr. Suchi Pandey is the chief medical officer for Stanford Blood Center. According to Pandey, plasma donation so far has been effective in curing patients that have COVID-19 infection. However, the best time for plasma donation is soon after recovery from the coronavirus infection. 

Unfortunately, according to FDA law, gay individuals cannot donate blood. In 1980s, during the AIDS crisis, the FDA restricted gay individuals from donating blood throughout their lives. The ban was imposed as a precautionary and safety measure. 

At the time it was thought that donating gay individuals’ blood to other individuals would put blood recipients’ lives in danger. However, last April, the lifetime ban was shortened to three months. 

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Remarks Of Others On FDA Ban On Gays For Blood Donation

Yet California State Senator Scott Wiener considers the three-month ban a problem. Furthermore, according to Scott Weiner, the FDA ban has no scientific basis and is driven by fear and ignorance. Moreover, Scott describes the ban as an outdated stereotypical application that does not favor gay and bisexual men. 

According to Dr. Monica Hahn, it took months for an HIV diagnosis to occur in an individual after a sexual encounter back in 1980s. However, it is possible to detect HIV presence in patients within ten days of a sexual encounter. 

The FDA is considering shortening the ban and making alterations regarding the blood donations policy of gay individuals. 


Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.