The United States Center For Disease Control

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The United States Center for Disease Control recommends deferrals for several group of people based on various criteria. One of the group subjected to a deferral are men who have sex with men, referred to hereafter as MSM, and women who have sex with MSM. In November of 2014, a twelve-month deferral period replaced a lifetime ban on MSM donating blood. The basis for these deferral policies is preventing the spread of infectious diseases, particularly Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), through blood transfusions. While the goal of the policy is well-intentioned, it possesses serious flaws and shortcomings. There are many ways in which the current blood donation policy is inadequate. From a medical perspective, there are better indicators…show more content…
For example, the use of illegal injection drugs is by far the biggest indicator of HIV risk. The deferral policy does consider injection drug use. (“Advisory Committee”) Conversely, many risk factors are not considered in the policy. The majority of HIV infections are the result of unprotected sex, which is not included in the policy. (“HIV Among Gay”) Another unconsidered factor is testing positive for other STIs. Having an STI can put someone at a higher risk for getting another STI because the immune system can be compromised and open sores outbreaks can ask as pathways for infection disease. (“HIV Among Gay”) Likewise, a record of frequent STIs can indicate that a person is more susceptible to sexually transmission of infections due to their reproductive anatomy. (“Love”) Just as there are risk factors, there are many ways to decrease that risk. Proper condom use decreases the risk of HIV infection by 98-99% and using a medication called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, before sexual contact can reduce the risk by 92-99%. (“Love”) Knowing the HIV status of an individual’s partner or partners can also greatly reduce the change of HIV transmission. After all, the only way to become infected with HIV is to come into contact with a person who is HIV positive. The CDC justifies the deferral policy with the higher rates of HIV among gay and bisexual men. (“Revised Recommendations”) This is not to be disregarded. In 2014, the
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