A Country where Donating Blood was Banned for 38 Years
Today’s world is one where progressive thinking is encouraged. Remedial measures are figured out to solve problems, especially those concerning the masses. In recent times, acceptance of the LGBT community into society instead of considering them to be social outcasts has been prevalent, and many efforts are being made around the world to create harmony between people who may have different beliefs and preferences, and to develop mutual respect amongst all.The United States of America has always considered itself to be a country that leads by example, and thus, should be the most forward-thinking when it comes to sensitive issues that involve the sentiments of an entire community. Thus, it is surprising that since 1977, MSM (men who have sex with men) have been banned from Donating Blood, for fear of disease or some other health issues, even though these policies are not supported by medical science. There have been people in opposition of this rule since the beginning, with many members of the LGBT community pointing out that the rule is unscientific and expressing their views that the ban was based on homophobia. The MSM who would want to donate blood were ‘deferred’ indefinitely.
It is important to note that even if there is a possibility of the blood of such donors containing diseases or other health issues, donations are rigorously tested to rule out donors that are infected with known viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Thus, the rule does not really have that much weight. Finally, collapsing under the continuous pressure of those in opposition of this rule, the US Government was forced to make changes to the rule. As seen on Wikipedia, in July 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was proposing to change the policy by replacing the indefinite deferral with a 1-year deferral. The proposal was finally accepted and put into action on December 21st, 2015. Although this is not the same as removing the rule, it is a big step towards it.
Issues like these that are seemingly based on things such as homophobia, which are narrow-minded thoughts and concepts, should not be coming from a country which aims to be one of the leading nations of the world, especially in relation to a subject like donating blood. Let us hope that more open thoughts will prevail in the future, for the betterment of people all around the world, to bring harmony between people instead of creating differences between them.