Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Why test for AIDS when you can just discriminate?

The FDA is about to implement a new restriction on sperm donors: gays who have had sex at any time during the past 5 years are ineligible. The American Red Cross currently has an even more onerous restriction on blood donors: any, "male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977."

I don't think the Red Cross is homophobic, but rather than taking a principled stand (and also ensuring a larger pool of donors), the Red Cross leadership believes that they must kow-tow to the homophobia of others in order to maintain confidence in the nation's blood supply.

The medical justification is that gays have an "increased risk of HIV/AIDS." According to the CDC, 48% of all HIV/AIDS cases ever diagnosed in the US resulted from homosexual contact, as compared to 16% from heterosexual contact. For new diagnoses (2003) however, homosexual contact was responsible for 42%, while heterosexual contact is up to 31%.

We could, however, choose different statistical groupings. Black Americans accounted for 40% of cumulative HIV/AIDS cases, and 50% of new cases. People aged 35-44 accounted for 39% of HIV/AIDS cumulative cases, and 42% of new cases. People living in the District of Columbia had a new infection rate 12 times the national average, and 5 times the rate of the next worst state or territorty.

...and then, of course, we could just test all donors for HIV/AIDS.


Anonymous said...

I have a medical question here: is the process of artificial insemination vulnerable to transmitting AIDS/HIV at all? Would the sperm itself be contaminated? I'm totally ignorant on this. Perhaps a lurking medical professional could enlighten us.

Regardless of the answer, it seems obvious to me that testing is a better solution than "profiling." 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

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