John Kerry: Lift ban on homosexuals donating blood, or “How can I f#ck up America even more?”

Pink blood for thee but not for me! When I need blood, I'll have Teresa buy me some safe blood!

From Fox News:  [Noted scientist and Medical Doctor] “Sen. John Kerry called on the government Thursday to abolish a “discrimi natory” law that bars homosexual men in the U.S. from donating blood, saying “not a single piece of scientific evidence supports the ban.”

Wrong, Lurch, the tests aren’t 100% accurate! A site called “The Body: The complete HIV/AIDS resource” says this:  “Antibody test results for HIV are accurate more than 99.5% of the time.”  How many people want to take a chance of killing themselves 1/2 times out of a hundred?  To illustrate, come play Russian Roulette with my .357 magnum.  I’ll only put a bullet in the cylinder once every 33 spins.  6 possible chambers each time you pull the trigger.  6 x 33 roughly equals 200.  So you would have “only” a 1 out of 200 chance of killing yourself.  Anybody want to try it?  Go ahead, punk, make my day!  I’ll even video-tape it and make you a posthumous star on “Youtube.”   

 John Doe has met a woman who was falsely told that she had tested positive for AIDS, and a man who developed AIDS after having been given a blood transfusion containing HIV. Anecdotal evidence, I know, but who has not heard horror stories of botched medical tests?

The same site (“The Body”) also claims that it can take 3-6 months

I did not know that!

before the body has produced enough antibodies to effectively show up on an HIV/AIDS test.   In other words, the carrier might donate blood before it is possible to detect that he/she is infected.  But their blood in turn could still kill somebody. 

An honest homosexual will realize that his own destructive lifestyle should disqualify him from giving blood.  Here is an excellent article, written by a self-professed homosexual male, that points out the dangers of allowing homosexual males to donate blood.  

Most (many? whatever) homosexuals are not monogamous.  Even if they are, chances are their partners aren’t.  And the one being cheated likely won’t know it. When you have sex with someone, you are having sex not just with them, but with everyone with whom that person has had sex, and everyone with whom that other person has had sex, etc. ad infinitum. Homosexuals  often have had many partners.  There is a reason why the rate of HIV/AIDS and other S.T.D.s are much higher in the homosexual community. 

Instead of lowering our standards for our blood supply because of political correctness run-amok, or to pander to the homosexual lobby, or to prevent them from feeling discriminated against, we should be reasoning with those who engage in such behavior, imploring them to not donate blood. Sure, they could go donate, with an “I’ll show you” attitude. Easy. Just lie about it.  Virginia Blood Service is always calling me (literally 3-4 times per week when my time is up).  But remember, your blood might kill somebody. I’m assuming most people do not want to harm others, especially by giving them a death sentence.

I would rather ruin America with my political correctness, thank you!

UPDATE 4/5/10:  As any good poker player should know, my statistical analysis above about the 1 bullet in the chamber once every 33 times does not equate to a .05% chance of getting killed.  Your chances would be zero percent every time that no bullet was in the gun, but they would be 1 in 6, or roughly 17%, the one time that the bullet would be in the gun.  I guess a better analogy would be to play Russian Roulette with 200 single shot pistols, only one of which was loaded.

38 responses to “John Kerry: Lift ban on homosexuals donating blood, or “How can I f#ck up America even more?”

  1. It’s really crass of you to use my blog post in your blog post when mine contradicts every principle upon which yours is based.

    First, inaccuracy in blood tests swings both ways. That means you can have false positives and false negatives, so your analogy about Russian roulette is critically flawed.

    Second, my post does little to point out the dangers of allowing homosexuals to donate blood. The reality that I point out is that even with the lack of 100% accuracy in blood testing the risks associated with allowing homosexuals to donate blood are very, very small.

    Third, it is not homosexuality as such which should disqualify a person from giving blood. (STDs do not erupt spontaneously from sodomy, no matter what you say. In fact, it is far more plausible that they arise in heterosexual populations first.) Promiscuity, perhaps, but just as there are promiscuous homosexuals so are there promiscuous heterosexuals, but nothing in the screening process asks donors about the number of partners they’ve had.

    Fourth, and this is nit-picking, why do you need to qualify the descriptor “homosexual” with “self-professed” when applied to me? Do you doubt it? Is there some sort of documentation I should provide to you so that you will be convinced that I am, in fact, homosexual?

    Finally, and most importantly, I am opposed to allowing the government control the blood supply. That’s the conclusion of my argument. The supply could be increased and improved by turning it over to a free market. That way, if ignorant, foolish people such as yourself do not want to risk accepting blood from homosexuals, you can pay the price for your idiocy.

    This is important because your post accepts the premise that the government should be in charge of such things.

  2. Well, you are a dumb shit if you know that there is a risk that people will die and you don’t care. This isn’t some game. Hey, let’s let homos play or it will hurt their feelings.

    Homosexual behavior is high risk. What, are they going to give up sex for 6 months in order to give blood. If they don’t, they can’t vouch for the person with whom they had sex. The person could lie to them. The person could believe that they are disease free but be incorrect. You want to risk giving some 6 year old kid AIDS so that queers can feel good about giving blood? I don’t.

    I wasn’t using yours to prove my points, except that at least you were honest enough to admit that it is risky to allow homosexuals to give blood. I could give a shit if you agree with me otherwise.

    Va Blood Services, where I give blood, is not government run, as far as I can tell. And yeah, I do want blood to be highly regulated. I oppose the selling of blood by donors. I want no incentive for some faggot to go in and lie about his sexual behavior.

  3. Acknowledging the facts says nothing about my evaluation of them. People are at risk of dying all the time. That you believe being honest, frank, and rational in uncovering those facts means that one is treating life as a game belies your own intellectual corruption.

    Given that automobiles kill more human beings every year than HIV, is it your contention that we should outlaw automobiles or, at least, morally decry those who drive them? Or don’t you care about the people dying every day in automobile collisions?

    There is no inherent risk in homosexual sex.

    And you did use my post to support your points even if you only used it as a rhetorical device.

    My argument to you is that you’re abusing statistics and ignoring the basic facts of reality in order to make your argument and it is dishonest of you to cite me in support of those arguments.

    You should be informed that VA Blood Services is a non-profit which does receive government funding and is subject to government laws regarding the types of blood donations they are allowed to collect.

    You should also be informed that there is presently no more incentive for homosexuals to lie in order to give blood than there would be in a free market. In fact, I would argue that the incentives in a free market are higher for honesty. Further, under the current system, heterosexuals with AIDS have as much if not more incentive to lie as homosexuals do.

    Let’s talk about your stupidity for a moment:
    1) You’ve repeatedly called me names.
    2) You’ve misrepresented my arguments.
    3) You’ve abused my intellectual property by appropriating it to support your arguments.
    4) You don’t seem to understand basic principles of statistics.
    5) You don’t seem to understand basic principles of microeconomics.
    6) You don’t seem to understand the basic facts regarding our current blood donation system.
    7) You don’t seem to understand basic ideas about biology, epidemiology, or even sex.
    8) You seem to be extremely emotional, spewing invective, psychologizing. I would even suggest that you’re projecting when you suggest that my, or anyone else’s, feelings are hurt by your behavior.

    I hope you can see that my overarching point here is that you are completely wrong both in the method and conclusions for your arguments.

    In your parlance, that makes you a “dumb shit.”

  4. It is hard to have a rational discussion with anybody who does not recognize that male homosexual acts are inherently risky. Male homosexuals account for 50% plus of all new HIV infections in the USA, yet they are less than 2% of the entire population. Similar rates of new STDs prevail.

    Male homos are many times more likely to be sexually promiscuous, so even if you yourself are not, the chances that your partner is promiscuous are greatly increased.

    And what you fail to realize is that we have little choice to but to drive vehicles in the USA. We can live without queers donating blood. Your analogy is as ignorant as saying, “Well, gee, people die in automobile accidents, therefore I’m going to play Russian Roulette.”

    The ONLY reason to allow homosexuals to donate blood is for them to feel better about themselves. Hey, let’s allow junkies and prostitutes to give blood, too, I’m sure their self-esteem could use a boost. Who cares if some little kid gets a disease that is 100% fatal? We only care about being politically correct.

    Where have I repeatedly called you names?

    p.s. spare me the psychoanalysis bullshit.

  5. The law recognizes a principle called “risk-benefit analysis.” The higher the benefit, the more risk is acceptable. Obviously, if only homosexuals were capable of giving blood, then the risk would have to be acceptable, since the benefit of potentially saving a life would offset the risk of giving that person HIV. However, unless you can find an instance where someone died because they had no blood available from non-homosexuals, that scenario will never happen.

    Also, the higher the risk, the less acceptable that risk becomes. If the risk is a minor infection, or a slight reaction, the risk is more likely to be acceptable. If the risk is death, the risk is not acceptable unless there is no other alternative. We do not allow drugs on the market if they kill a certain percentage of their users, unless the alternative to not using them is also death. The alternative to not using homosexual blood is not death, so we should not choose to accept that risk. It is as simple as that.

    You can get all prissy because you are gay and you want to give blood. But why risk it? Do you want that on your conscience that you accidentally killed somebody?

  6. Do you even know what “inherently” means?

    In order to prove that homosexual activity is inherently risky, you have to show a causal relationship between said activity and some demonstrable harm. Promiscuity, HIV, and other infections are not evidence in support of that claim.

    Again, you don’t understand the basic facts at issue here.

    As for my analogy, you’ve again misrepresented my argument. You say, “If there is ANY risk associated with X, then we should not X.”

    My point is that risks are inherent in life and the risk associated with HIV infections being spread through the blood supply are exceedingly small, far, FAR smaller than the risks associated with driving cars. So, in order for you to be consistent in your argument about accepting no risks you would have to argue that cars should be outlawed.

    Given your failed understanding of what risk is, what analogies are, and how statistics work, I’m wary to point out that in your previous comment you said that if I am willing to accept risk that people die, then I must think there is some sort of game afoot. The implication is that you think I believe that saving lives through blood donations is some sort of game.

    Using your logic, I believe that you think deaths by automobiles are a funny game, too, and if that were the case, I would think you are a callow, heartless person and you would call yourself a “dumb shit.”

    What I’ve presented you with there with the analogy about driving cars is what is called an “argumentum ad absurdum.” Look it up. You might learn something.

    But I’m not sure if you understand analogies given your introduction of that Russian Roulette remark which is wildly out of line with anything I’ve presented on this topic.

    Back to the issue of donating blood, your assertion that the only reason to allow homosexuals to donate blood is to make them feel better means that the only reason to allow heterosexuals to donate blood is to let them feel better. I hope you see how stupid that claim of yours is.

    I am pretty sure you’re just being provocative with that remark and you do understand that the reason to accept blood donations is to save lives and the question here is about how to accept donations while balancing the risks inherent in doing so. Let me be more clear to you: there is always a risk associated with donated blood, regardless of the sexual orientation of the donor. The question asked is: In the effort to reduce those risks, is it appropriate to continue to use sexual orientation as a partial filter for accepting said donations. I don’t think it is, you obviously do. I haven’t presented my reasons why, but you have and what you’ve presented is just wrong.

    Again, you seem to not understand the issue here and instead draw specious comparisons between homosexuals and druggies and prostitutes.

    You also hold some false ideas about the nature of HIV, the mortality rates of which have been steadily dropping over the years, so your claim about it being 100% fatal again belies confusion about the nature of the facts in this discussion.

    Two final points: 1) I found out that VA Blood Services does NOT accept government funding. Good for them! But they still submit (as they are so compelled by law) to the oversight of the FDA and blood donation standards, which is my main objection to the way our donor system works.

    2) You called me a dumb shit, faggot, and a queer. I know you don’t mean any of those words as compliments, so just own up to your own name-calling.

    Finally, I haven’t psychoanalyzed you, nor have I attempted to do so. What I’ve suggested is that while you continue to assert my feelings have been hurt, your responses to my comments have been far more emotional, which implies that your feelings have been hurt.

    My recommendation to you is that you put your emotions aside and think about this issue and the facts logically, rationally. Of course, you have a great number of facts to gather before you can have that discussion, but an improvement in your methods would help you go a long way in presenting your arguments in more challenging and persuasive way.

  7. Again, you clearly do not understand the risks here.

    I don’t accept your premise that the government should be involved in blood donations, so your discussion of having risk-benefit analysis in the legal canon falls on deaf ears, not to mention that it flies in the face of any objective, principled form of government.

    Further, I don’t believe you even believe the sort of risk-benefit analysis that you describe is actually practiced by our law makers.

  8. I didn’t say anything about the government being involved in blood donations. I was using it as an example of how the law looks at risk.

    Are you dense, or being intentionally obtuse? You keep bringing up driving a car and comparing that risk to homosexuals giving blood. A more appropriate risk is that of Russian Roulette. There is no, zip, zero NADA benefit to playing Russian Roulette, and there is a risk of terrible injury or death. There are plenty of benefits of driving, and most rational people accept the risks associated therein.

    There are no, zip, zero NADA benefits to allowing homosexuals to give blood so long as we have enough donations from those who do not engage in such risky behavior. Duh, the reason I compare homos with prostitutes and I.V. drug users is because all in those groups tend to have higher incidences of AIDS. Instead of hoping to get a prostitute who happened to get lucky and is not sick, I’d rather ban them all.

    The point you keep missing is that there is no reason for any who engage in such risky behavior to give blood. Some fanciful, “well, it might happen some day (that they don’t have enough blood from non-homosexuals)” does not provide a good enough reason to erase the ban. Until that day arrives, there is no reason to take any risk. Being poltically correct, and trying to soothe the guilt of homos IS NOT an acceptable reason to take any risk, no matter how slight.

    You sound like some whacky free market libertarian. The free market would produce limited liability corporations that get blood from any old queer or prostitute, and then when they got sued because people contracted AIDS, they’d just dissolve the corp and start over. If you want no regulation over our blood supply, you are not only immoral, you are stupid.

  9. Lipton T. Bagg

    Well, Trey there IS a cause and effect argument in male homosexual sex. And before you fly off the handle and misrepresent MY argument, I will invoke science and common sense. Not that you will listen…

    First if you contend that homosexual sex has no greater risk than heterosexual sex, you are bluntly lying. There are hundreds of studies that conclude that MSM (Men having Sex with Men) is demonstrably riskier than heterosexual sex. Because you see no risk is it doesn’t make it so.

    Sexually active MSM are more prone to disease – specifically sexually derived disease – than heterosexual men. Period. Want proof?

    * Worldwide, 5-10% of ALL HIV infections are in gay males.
    {Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/HTLV-III/LAV): a review. van der Graaf M, et. al) with 40-49% of new cases in the US attributed to gay men (CDC Report, Cases of HIV/AIDS Infections in US and Dependent Areas, 2005)}

    * In the U.S., 64% of reported Syphilis cases involved MSM (CDC Factsheet “Syphilis and MSM” and Medical Journal of Australia “Syphilis, Back on the Rise, but Not Unstoppable”). Syphilitic lesions also multiply secondary infections of Hep B and C, Kaposi’s Sarcoma (in HIV-infected patients) and secondary bacterial and fungal infections – due to the compromise in skin/blood barrier protections.

    * 30% of Hepatitis B diagnosis in the U.S. are linked to risk factors prominent in MSM {Global Changes in Liver Disease, R. Williams, et. al.}

    And I can go on and on.

    As long as a specific group of people remain engaged in high-risk behavior – thereby making themselves more prone to blood-borne pathogens which can be transferred to others – I support keeping them out of the blood supply system. Your hetero-phobic nature will not convince me, nor anyone else, to the contrary.

    Perhaps one day screening mechanisms will allow that ban to be lifted – when we can with greater acuity scan ALL blood, regardless of source, and more accurately detect blood-borne pathogens better than we can today. Until then, I want MSM, high-risk drug users, high risk heterosexual men, heavy users of alcohol and other specific groups excluded from the blood supply. And despite your personal bias, so should you.

    What’s immoral, as you say, is innocent people in need of blood to save their lives being stricken with a death sentence to please your political or social engineering desires. To quote you, “you are stupid” to think otherwise.

  10. Wait, what? Heavy users of alcohol? That’s going too far!

  11. John, it’s like you aren’t paying attention at all.

    *I’M* the one who talked about government intervention in blood donations. It is the central part of my argument on this matter and why it is improper for you to cite my argument in support of your own.

    This claim is false on its face: “There are no, zip, zero NADA benefits to allowing homosexuals to give blood so long as we have enough donations from those who do not engage in such risky behavior. ”

    First, according to the Red Cross and others, we do not have enough blood donations and, second, it would be beneficial to be prepared to accept more donations in the event of emergencies. So, the claim that there is no benefit to increasing the population of blood donors is just false.

    The problem with lumping homosexuals in with IV drug users and prostitutes is that there are great statistical differences between the prevalence of infection between those populations. But you would prefer to argue that the risk is the same for all three groups. It’s not.

    The rate of HIV infections is higher for people of color, would you also lump them in with homosexuals, IV drug users, and prostitutes and ban their blood?

    You keep asserting that the argument for lifting the ban is based on being politically correct and wishing to avoid hurting people’s feelings. I am sure someone somewhere thinks that way, but I don’t, so your argument there is a strawman. I am not positing that argument at all.

    I’m not a Libertarian, but my politics aren’t relevant to this discussion, either. You have simply failed to support your case. Is that why you continue to call names and insult me instead of using rational thought?

    LTB, you’re next.

  12. Mr. Bagg,

    You’ve misrepresented my argument, perhaps worse than John did. The whole reason John linked to my blog was because I pointed out that there is a statistically higher prevalence of HIV infection among men who have sex with men. It follows, therefore, that I did not make any such claim about the rate of infections within the heterosexual population and the homosexual population are the same.

    What I DID say in comparing homosexuals and heterosexuals was that John ignorantly and wrongly asserted that there is no reason for homosexuals to donate blood. The reason to accept blood donations stands for both homosexuals and heterosexuals — to save lives. So, if the claim is that there is no reason to accept gay blood, then there is no reason to accept straight blood.

    (What John actually seems to havee meant was that there is no reason to accept whatever slight increase in risk there may be in accepting gay blood, but that’s not what he said and as I mentioned in my previous comment to him, that assertion doesn’t hold, either.)

    Your term “sexually derived disease” is an invention of your own. STDs do not spontaneously erupt from instances of gay sex.

    And, like John, I have to question whether or not you understand the term “inherently.” Please do go look this up, because you could save yourself the spouting off of irrelevant statistics.

    Like John, you’re also accusing me of things for which I haven’t said nor for which you have evidence. One specific example: you assert that I won’t listen to you. You mistake my unwillingness to be persuaded by foolishness for not observing the foolishness for what it is. Another example: you assert that I’m hetero-phobic. I have no idea why you think that, but that is also a figment of your imagination.

    We do presently test all blood donations for blood-born pathogens and our tests are very, very accurate, albeit not 100%. Your wish for 100% accurate blood testing is something presently in the realm of science fiction. If I may offer my opinion, I think that desire is fueled by your bias and not a clear understanding of what the risks actually are.

    You have many of the same problems John does. You don’t seem to understand the proper use of statistics. You don’t seem to understand biology nor basics of epidemiology. I don’t think you understand exactly what HIV infection means for a person’s life. And you’re just throwing around insults in place of rational arguments.

    You even accuse me of a bias that John himself cited me as not having.

    And let me be clear for both of you: I have NOT been arguing that we should accept gay blood into our blood supply. (Your assertion that my position is something that it isn’t based on the fact that you know I’m gay could easily be construed as an ad hominem argument, but that would not be the worst of your logical fallacies in this discussion.) What I have argued is that your reasons for not wanting gay blood in the supply are invalid.

    The reason I haven’t presented you guys with what I think about accepting gay blood into the supply is because I don’t accept your premise that the government should be in charge of setting the standards for what blood is donated. So, my opinion on the issue of gay blood is not at all relevant here.

    You and John both seem to be completely unfamiliar with the proper form of logical argumentation, but I don’t know if that familiarity would help you since you seem to also be immune to reason.

  13. Pingback: What Do I Think of Adding Gay Blood to our Blood Supply? « Trey Givens

  14. “First, according to the Red Cross and others, we do not have enough blood donations and, second, it would be beneficial to be prepared to accept more donations in the event of emergencies.”

    As to the first, b.s. They always whine about the supply being low, but that is to guilt people into donating. As to the second, how does one “be prepared” to accept homos’ blood in an emergency? Hey, stop taking it up the ass from strangers for the next six months just in case of an emergency???

  15. To the first,what evidence do you have to accuse the Red Cross and others of lying on this issue?

    And to the second, having a greater blood supply would help prepare for emergencies. Have you given even a little thought to this?

    Also, perhaps you’ve been experimenting with this, but I’ll save you some time: gay sex doesn’t require that you “take it up the ass.” Obviously, someone is also doing the giving. But there are other activities that you may find more comfortable, but I will leave it to you to discover your own preferences.

  16. Lipton T. Bagg


    I must admit, I admire the fluff and prose of your arguments – impressive stuff, really. Sadly, there is also a lack of substance or empirical evidence in support of your “fluff”. So, allow me to embrace the “take ball from Quarterback, plow straight ahead” kinda guy I am, and let’s break this discussion down, shall we? I shall use your quotes as the “Point” so as not to paraphrase.

    Point: “ I don’t accept your premise that the government should be in charge of setting the standards for what blood is donated.”

    Counterpoint: The original Department of Education and Welfare was created as part of the Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 1953, and transmitted to Congress by President Eisenhower on March 12, 1953. After several years and changes of authority it became the Department of Health and Human Services in 1979. The mission statement of the HHS is:
    “The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.” The Food and Drug Administration (an agency within HHS) is charged by Congress to oversee, among other things, tissue banking (of which blood banking is a portion). This came to be primarily because during the early 1990s, blood banking (which is classified as an “essential human service”)was besmirched by what the FDA called “several disasters” – some of which were publically reported cases where HIV, Hepatitis B & C infected recipients of tainted blood. Government oversight was mandated specifically due to the spread of the most prevalent pathogens (which continue to spread in viral fashion) –within the MSM community. Simple logic – not homophobia – dictates exclusion of one of the largest risk groups to minimize spread of a blood-borne disease. Upon this we seem to agree. But the government will continue to regulate the industry, whether you like it or not.

    Point: “ So, if the claim is that there is no reason to accept gay blood, then there is no reason to accept straight blood.”

    Counterpoint: There is no such thing as “gay blood” and “straight blood”. There is however a vast difference in “high risk” potential donors vs. “low risk” potential donors. Donor DISqualifications are generally similar from organization to organization; these are borrowed from the United Blood Services website (NOT a government standard):
    1. have cold or flu symptoms on the day of donation or do not feel well
    2. have ever used a needle to take nonprescription drugs
    3. had hepatitis after the age of 11
    4. ever had a positive Hepatitis B or C test
    5. are at risk of catching or spreading the AIDS virus.

    Now, borrowed from the front page of the Aids Project Los Angeles website:

    “A newly released report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now shows HIV infection rates among gay and bisexual men are 44 times greater than those among heterosexual men. APLA is calling for dramatic increases in HIV/AIDS prevention funding at both the state and federal levels to respond to the trend. “The CDC’s grim report tells us that we have a public health emergency among gay men,” APLA Executive Director Craig E. Thompson said in a press statement. “Yet prevention funding has been reduced at the federal level over the past ten years, and entirely eliminated by the state.””

    You know what Trey, there seems to be DAMN GOOD reason not to accept blood from gay men – “A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY!”. One of the strongest proponents for HIV treatment and prevention in the GLBT community says so. And we have not even touched upon Hepatitis or drug abuse – both percentages disproportionately high in MSM (according to the publications and statistics you dismissed earlier as “irrelevant statistics”. So I reject your assertion of “gay blood and straight blood”; and likewise reject your assertion that there is no difference between sources of blood.

    Point: “The problem with lumping homosexuals in with IV drug users and prostitutes is that there are great statistical differences between the prevalence of infection between those populations. But you would prefer to argue that the risk is the same for all three groups. It’s not.”
    Counterpoint: You are right, and wrong. The risk of HIV in MSM is currently a HIGHER rate of infection (per capita) than prostitutes and IV drug users. If you wish to argue the last two groups are under-reported due to their illicit activity, I’ll buy that BUT I will however retort that the MSM community is under-reported for the same reasons. The rates of infection (by latest CDC numbers) for Hepatitis B & C are higher for IV drug users. But add into the mix the disproportionately large percentage of Tertiary Syphilis carriers within the MSM community (also transferrable in blood, but more easily and accurately detected) and you could make a strong argument for MSM being the HIGHEST OVERALL PERCENTAGE OF INFECTION champions. Show me empirical evidence to the contrary, and I’ll retract.

    Point: “And, like John, I have to question whether or not you understand the term “inherently.””

    Counterpoint: Actually, you are incorrect here as well. (From Meriam-Webster):
    Inherently: –adjective
    existing in someone or something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, or attribute: an inherent distrust of strangers.

    I understand exactly what the word means. I would also be remiss in not pointing out I did not use the word in my previous discussion. And while I might have said (quoting John) “It is hard to have a rational discussion with anybody who does not recognize that male homosexual acts are inherently risky” in a different fashion, the message he attempts to send is correct: MSM sex has a higher risk of exposure to disease than penile-vaginal intercourse. I wish to maintain some decorum since this is not an adult site but ATM, “tossing salad” and anal penetration (especially unprotected) is far more risky – INHERENTLY risky – due to the small skins tears which break the skin-blood barrier which would otherwise help prevent infection. This is true of MSM or heterosexual anal intercourse. And yes, I fully understand that MSM is not uniquely about anal intercourse. A refresher is not required.

    Point: “We do presently test all blood donations for blood-born (sic) pathogens and our tests are very, very accurate, albeit not 100%. Your wish for 100% accurate blood testing is something presently in the realm of science fiction. If I may offer my opinion, I think that desire is fueled by your bias and not a clear understanding of what the risks actually are.”

    Counterpoint: Well, since you offered your opinion, allow me to respond. There is no crime in hoping for one day having a zero tolerance for false negatives and false positives. In my 25+ years of practice in nursing and as a diagnostician I can tell you I know – perhaps far better than you – what the actual risks are to both MSM (who I have assisted through my work with APLA and All-Saints Programs) and to the innocent parties tragically infected with life altering diseases as a result of blood products which “slipped through the cracks”. So while you offer your opinion, I reject it out of hand.

    Point: “You have many of the same problems John does. You don’t seem to understand the proper use of statistics. You don’t seem to understand biology nor basics of epidemiology. I don’t think you understand exactly what HIV infection means for a person’s life. And you’re just throwing around insults in place of rational arguments.”

    Counterpoint: Well Trey, I believe you owe me an apology (not that I’m holding my breath). My statistical use was accurate, and pertinent. Far more accurate than the substantial LACK of empirical evidence you have offered. My education at Baylor, University of Maryland and UCLA have given me a well rounded education in Biological Sciences, Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. I have personally seen the sadness in a mans eyes where the same lover and partner who infected him abandons him because of that infection is terrible. To hear how this same man was thrown to the curb by his own biological family – leaving him to die alone – is horrible. Even as an outsider. Do not even contend you know anything about what I know about this disease and what it does to others. And you glossing over these far-too-frequent tragedies borders on criminal.

    Point: Your term “sexually derived disease” is an invention of your own. STDs do not spontaneously erupt from instances of gay sex.

    Counterpoint: The term “sexually derived disease” is both accurate, and oft-repeated. I first encountered the term in a CDC presentation a few years ago, and have seen it from time-to-time when an author wishes to side step the “STD” moniker because of the implications it carries. A quick Google would bring up several presentations where the term is used. Again, you apology is appropriate, but not anticipated. For the record, STDs do not “spontaneously erupt” as a result of unprotected “gay sex”, but they are “transmitted” through the same. The sarcasm is appreciated, but did not hit pay dirt.

    Point: You and John both seem to be completely unfamiliar with the proper form of logical argumentation, but I don’t know if that familiarity would help you since you seem to also be immune to reason.

    Counterpoint: Trey, I do not wish to be argumentative as much as I wish to be accurate. I’m not sure you share the same vision. I actually believe my position has been well articulated, well-documented, and full of common sense and a position of protectionism toward the common good. My position is not based in Homophobia, blind bias or misguided prejudice. It is founded in education, practical hand-on experience, and genuine human interest. Unlike your argument which h appears to be based on personal bias, political positioning and innuendo, I have tried to present sound reasoning (minus hyperbole and name-calling) and would be pleasantly surprised if you were to respond in same.

    Oh, and have a Happy Easter!

  17. Mr. Bagg

    1) That the government does, does not address whether or not it SHOULD. I have no argued that it doesn’t nor that it won’t. So, this point of yours is, again, irrelevant to this discussion.

    Before I get to item 2, I have a point of order. John and I have been using the terms “gay blood” and “straight blood” to refer to donations from those particular groups. While I appreciate a semantic quibble as much as the next person, that particular quibble of your is immaterial to this context, but I’ll avoid the phrase for your benefit here.

    2) I have not argued that heterosexuals represented a higher risk group than that of homosexuals. Again, I contradict that claim in my own post and was cited here for saying so. You argument here is, again, over items already addressed and accepted. There are clearly different levels of risk associated with various groups including heterosexuals, homosexuals, whites, blacks, prostituted, IV drug users, and others.

    What I would challenge is the notion that the level of risk is the same for all of these groups and your claim that accepting blood from homosexuals would create a “PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY” is not grounded in fact. That is your speculation about the outcome of an event that we’re debating here.

    3) You’ve illustrated my point here. I’m saying there are material differences in the rates of blood-borne pathogens between various populations, so the remark that they should all be lumped together as having the same risk is specious.

    The burden of proof for the argument “MSM being the HIGHEST OVERALL PERCENTAGE OF INFECTION champions” is on you. I don’t have any personal stake in that argument because I actually do not claim special knowledge about what the change in the level of risk would be should the FDA allow for the donation of blood by homosexuals. (You’re welcome to go read my own blog where I discuss this issue and respond to John’s pointed question on the matter.)

    Yours and John’s argument is that because of the prevalence of these diseases among homosexuals and the lack of any need to increase our blood supply, we should continue to ban the donation of blood from homosexuals.

    My argument is that there is a need to increase our blood supply and that homosexuality may not be the best filter for identifying high-risk donors. Further, even if one does allow that homosexuals are a high-risk group and no other better filters for blood donors prior to drawing blood are possible, the question remains what the change in risk would be for allowing us to donate blood and whether or not that change in risk is acceptable. This is why I find it inappropriate that John would cite me as an “honest homosexual” in support of his case.

    I understand that John (and perhaps yourself) finds any increase in risk above the current threshold to be unacceptable, but I’ve yet to see the current threshold nor the proposed new threshold quantified in any way that could allow me inform an intelligent decision on the matter. Again, the burden of proof here is on you and John who make the claim.

    Side note: I would also call into question the rationality of the categorical claim that any increase in risk at all is unacceptable, but that might be best discussed when other issues are sorted out.

    I do, however, appreciate the value of the statistics you’ve provided. I understand and do accept that there are higher rates of infection among homosexuals and MSM in particular. But the insight such statistics grant us into a hypothetical future of undefined context is limited.

    4) Please look again at the definition you handily provided for “inherently.” Homosexuals need not engage in anal sex, anilingus, or any of a number of other activities in order to still be homosexual and enjoy a full sex life. Even as you cite the risk of infection possible from particular activities, you fail to make you case because it is entirely possible to mitigate risks while engaging in many of those activities.

    The question about that remark is not about statistical prevalence in the population at large, but about homosexual activity as such.

    5) Noted.

    6) You insult me while asking for an apology. Your insult is that while that while you believe I’ve committed some injustice toward you — in the form of questioning your understanding of the issues — you think I haven’t the integrity to cop to it.

    I do apologize to you for underestimating your understanding here and your comment here shows far more thought and consideration than your previous.

    But your poor manners and continued misrepresentation of my points is something you should apologize to me for.

    I haven’t offered statistical evidence because the burden of proof here is not on me. I have stated explicitly that I have no special knowledge that would allow me to make an informed decision about whether or not homosexuals should be permitted to donate blood. I have stated repeatedly that I would have to trust health care providers, doctors, and scientists to make a determination about such things even in leaving the ultimate decision to me as the case arises.

    I’ve also stated that I resent the tyrannical and condescending presumption that I am incapable of gathering the necessary information to make such a decision, which is why my own position on the matter isn’t about whether the government should do this or that, but whether the government should do anything at all here. I don’t think they should.

    I don’t know what it will take for you and John to comprehend the fact that I am not arguing the point you continually put in my mouth, but it would be nice to get past that.

    7) I googled “sexually derived disease” and got two hits, one of which was this comment stream and the other a forum involving much the same sort of comments seen here. Further, I don’t know what implications the term STD or STI carry that a researcher would be concerned about. In another forum I might be interested to hear what you have to say on that and why anyone thinks that “sexually derived disease” offers more clarity (for my part it carries that “inherent” problem discussed above), but it looks like your claim here is unsupported by the only verifiable evidence you offered me.

    Moreover, that remark was in the context of discussing the use of the term “inherently” and whether or not homosexuality as such is harmful, so my response to your use of this phrase I’ve never encountered before.

    9) That isn’t a counter-argument to what I stated. Even though I do think you’ve brought more to this most recent comment than has been brought to the affirmative position of this discussion, you still fail to understand exactly what is required of the affirmative and you’ve continually asserted that I have a position that I don’t have and you insulted my integrity more than once.

  18. In summarizing the arguments above, I smooshed yours and John’s argument together. You may not agree with John on all points he’s made, though, so if that’s not right, I apologize.

  19. Informative arguments on various sides… Thank you

  20. PanAm, I’m cross-posting this on your blog as well.

    I, and the folks here, would agree that this is not a civil rights issue. This is a matter of fact and medical science.

    Like John I find the idea of making political decisions based on what makes people feel good disgusting. What about MY feelings?

    But the debate does not stop there even as we look at this as a medical issue.

    Mr. Bagg above has cited numerous statistics showing that MSMs are a high-risk group when it comes to blood donations.

    Mr. Kerry claims that numerous medical authorities say that the ban is no longer medically justified.

    I am inclined to believe that the increase in risk associated with allowing MSM is low, but what is it exactly? What is the basis for Mr. Kerry & those donor organization’s claims? What is the current scope of the risk in allowing MSM to donate blood in either case?

    It has been argued that the decision is one of common sense, but given the number of facts that are simply unknown here, I find claims from common sense wanting.

    Moreover, John here has expressed an extreme sensitivity to risk on this issue. He is unwilling to chance infection even if the odds are a zillion to one greater than they are currently. (Never mind that he doesn’t know what the odds are currently.) While I am willing to accept an increase in risk, but only if that risk is defined and within limits acceptable to me. I would not presume to tell John, as John presumes to tell me, that his sensitivity to risk makes him a “dumbass.”

    Further, the point I argue, which is not at debate here, is that the current system is immoral and there is a huge opportunity on the free market for serving a greater number of patients by allowing patients to make informed decisions themselves.

  21. Trey, we are talking about lives here. People who have loved ones, who may have families who depend upon them. Do not look at this in the abstract, look at this as though you are exposing your dearest loved ones to the risk. You might not care about yourself, but what if they are one of the unfortunate ones? WHY risk it–no matter how slight the risk– if you do not have to? And as to your claim that we “need” gay blood, you have the burden of proof on that issue.

    Besides, it is NOT up to you or that dumbass John Kerry to decide for me what is or is not an acceptable risk for me and my loved ones. I’ll allow MSM practitioners to donate blood to Kerry and any liberal, for that matter, but keep practitioners of MSM away from my blood supply.

    Yawn. I think we have beaten this topic to death, butt I may bee rongg.

  22. John,

    At last we agree on something: It is not up to you or John Kerry to decide what is an acceptable risk for me or my loved ones. That is EXACTLY the argument I made in the post I originally wrote on this topic.

    But that’s what you presume to tell me when you tell me I oughtn’t be allowed to accept blood from MSM donors. That presumption is what I find so offensive about the government dictating these standards to all Americans.

    My sensitivity to risk is none of your business and your sensitivity to risk is none of mine. The reason I might want to accept higher risk donations is up to me and your reasons for not wanting them is up to you. This is why I haven’t called you a “dumbass” for your decision.

    Here are some citations from organizations claiming that we need more people to donate blood:

    Just Google and you can find a great number of people saying that we need more people to donate blood and that shortages do happen under the current system and that there is always a need for more donors.

  23. They have been saying that for ages. Needing more people to donate (to enlarge the percentage of donors) does not equate with blood being unavailable. I have them calling me three times a week when I am eligible.

    Here is the real problem, from a website that you linked to: “Right now, not enough people donate blood. Only 4 people out of 100 who are able to donate blood do so.”

    And how do you propose that we lower the standards to suit you, while keeping them high for people like me? Label a donor’s blood gay or straight? Unless we did something like that, I can and will dictate to you that you will keep your lack of standards out of my body, and the bodies of my loved ones.

  24. As any good poker player should know, my statistical analysis in the article about the 1 bullet in the chamber once every 33 times does not equate to a .05% chance of getting killed. Your chances would be zero percent every time that no bullet was in the gun, but they would be 1 in 6, or roughly 17%, the one time that the bullet would be in the gun. I guess a better analogy would be to play Russian Roulette with 200 single shot pistols, only one of which was loaded.

    Under lowered standards, every person who gets donated blood from a practicing homosexual could have a roughly 1 in 200 chance of dying. (Of course, it would not be so high, because not all homosexuals have AIDS. But some DO and don’t know it yet. From those individuals, the percentage is roughly correct). Such a deal. If that were a “heartless Republican” promoting the idea, for profit instead of raising the self-esteem of queers, they would be hooted out the country.

  25. Read more closely. Blood shortages can and do happen. Further, if saying too few people donate is tantamount to saying there is insufficient blood available. You’re being deliberately obtuse in arguing that point.

    And one way to get more blood is to increase the population of donors.

    What *I* propose is that you, John Kerry, and the rest of people who presume to dictate to me what I do with my life mind your own business. On the free market, which is what I proposed in my original post, which you cited by the way, I would argue in favor of labeling blood by a number of risk factors including the sexuality of the donor.

    You don’t know what my standards are and nothing I’ve said implies that I lack them. You’re just being insulting again instead of putting forth a cogent, rational argument.

    You’ve also now painted yourself a hypocrite. You don’t want me to tell you what to do, but you want to tell me what to do. Similarly, you don’t want John Kerry to tell you what to do, but you want to tell John Kerry what to do.

    What will you argue if they do lift the ban on MSM blood donors as Mr. Kerry proposes?

  26. Your Russian Roulette analogy is fatally flawed for a great number of reasons.

    Some heterosexuals have HIV and don’t know it. Some people lie, which makes the risk of the current system questionable even if it were known. You haven’t clearly defined what the current level of risk IS, though. And, yes, the current system does have a level of risk due to some of the very factors you cited in your original post.

    The odds of getting HIV from a blood donor are also affected by the testing procedures used, the other screening criteria used, and possibly a number of other factors worthy of consideration.

    Again, you’re speculating without providing any actual evidence in support of your claim.

  27. Lipton T. Bagg


    I thin you may be right, so I will close with these thoughts.

    How many innocent lives destroyed is enough to make a political statement? Because that’s what this comes down to – an group of individual who feel ostracized wanting to be more “normal”.

    Let me put this another way – if our local stores were running low of beef, what would be the most correct action(s) for then to take?
    * Find another qualified supplier of consumer beef?
    * Perhaps encourage the packers to increase production?
    * Offer incentives to the sellers? Maybe look overseas to other qualified suppliers?

    All valid options. One which may in the long run also pay off with superior quality products.

    But sell us meat from areas with high percentages of diseased animals? Maybe begin slaughtering the animals which “still look OK “? We’ve already been through this with Mad Cow Disease, right? I mean the meat may look alright, smell alright, and it might not make you sick but the risk…

    And Trey is incorrect on an issue above – the cited “PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY” is not does not come from me – it is a condition cited within the MSM community itself. AIDS Porject Los Angeles (APLA) is one of the largest and most vocal advocates for gay and bi men in the United States. Trey, it’s your own “peeps” who feel this is important. Perhaps you should take note.

    So, my answer to the original question is – ZERO. None, nada. Zip. Not one persons life destroyed because of personal tragedy, accident, illness or disease put them in the unenviable position of needed a pint of someone else’s blood. There currently is NO acceptable reason to add greater risk to current blood and tissue pools. We lost hundreds or thousands of lives, and destroyed similar numbers the last time standards were called into question in the 1990s. I am willing to accept the pendulum swinging a bit too far in the direction toward caution.

    Today, we have licensed third-party for-profit agencies collecting blood for products such as plasma, platelets and so-on. There are personal and sometimes financial incentives for donors to give – many do. People profiting as a result of hard work and foresight is not a crime;, it is in fact the bedrock of what makes America great. I reject the demonetization of honest work and profit from same. Those who operate out of the realm of honesty and safety should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

    We also have new breakthroughs yearly on synthetic fluid replacement products which are now in use. Synthetic plasma has been around for years, and advancement on hemoglobin carrying fluids to temporarily replace full packed cell blood is getting better all the time. With zero chance of transferred pathogens. These technologies have nowhere to go but up.

    There is no reason today important enough to assume high-risk additions to the tissue supply stream. Not one innocent life is worth the risk.

    And with that, I step off my soapbox.

  28. Lipton T. Bagg

    Let it go John. We’ve put the info out there, let people decide.

    Fortunately, neither Trey nor John Kerry have the ability to alter the system today. Seems our best protection – as it has always been – is using ones dominant hand at the ballot box. No Kerry, no issue…

    Sliding soap box under table, heading toward the door…

  29. Lipton T. Bagg

    Besides, are you tired of filling Trey’s blog for him???

  30. Mr. Bagg

    It’s too bad you aren’t leading this discussion because you bring far more relevant issues and seemingly pertinent analogies to the discussion although you need to show a bit more respect and use of critical thinking skills.

    But first, we all agree here that the change should not be made for a political statement nor to appeal to someone else’s feelings. You guys continually set up that strawman even though it’s not being debated.

    Further, the “PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY” I referred to above is clearly used in reference to a predicted outcome of allowing MSM to donate blood. Restated: there is little evidence in support of the claim that allowing MSM to donate blood would lead to some sort of health crisis in the population at large.

    Again, I have not challenged your statistics regarding the rates of infection of various blood-borne pathogens. John cited me for acknowledging them in the first place!

    Both you and John have made it very clear that you are not willing to accept even the slightest amount of increased risk to our blood supply. Fine.

    And to claim that there is NO acceptable reason to accept more risk into the current system is to ignore not only the current evidence that we do need more blood and potential future situations that may call for an increased supply?

    Also, given that I don’t support government interference in the blood supply, why would you think I would support government interference in our food?

    I think it is perfectly acceptable to allow people to choose buy meat that may be tainted with mad cow whether in the presence or absence of meat which is certified as not tainted. I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but I, again, would not presume to dictate to them what they may or may not do.

    I’ll say it again because it has yet to sink in here: what we’re debating is not how I would run blood banks. The question is whether or not yours and John’s concerns around allowing MSM blood donors are justified.

    So far, you haven’t provided evidence for why someone should rationally adopt your own extremely risk-averse attitudes on this topic.

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