Many More Lives Will be Saved from Next Year Onward

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( — November 28, 2015) — The fear of contaminated blood has been present since the discovery of HIV. Doctors could not be certain of the exact moment of the appearance of the HIV virus in a patient or how many people have already been infected before they find out at some point of time that the infected patient gave their blood, not realizing they were ill.  After the HIV virus was established and recognized as such, many countries put a ban on blood donation from MSM (Men who have Sex with Men). Scientists claimed that in order to give blood, these people should not be sexually active at least for a year before they can be accepted as donors.

Nowadays, at least in the UK, medicine seems to have changed its views. Apparently, a report issued by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs states that the HIV can be undetectable from between 9-15 days, while for hepatitis B it is 66 days.

If this is official, then it will be no longer necessary to wait a whole year before accepting MSM’s blood. It seems that the blood service is not interested in people’s sexual orientation, but in the fact that, as Jane Ellison, UK’s Minister for Public Health said: “the deferral period is based on sexual activity and it applies to a member of other groups, not just MSM”.

There are many countries in the world that have never had such a ban, so the question is how did they treat their blood donors? Was each of them asked to report their sexual orientation before giving blood? There is no “group” of people which is immune to HIV, so everybody’s blood should be treated equally. Somebody would think that a blood analysis shows whether blood is contaminated, not discriminated.

No matter what was said or believed, medicine should have been more advanced by now. We can hear the news of some new breakthrough in this or that branch of medicine every day. It is hard to believe that scientists needed decades (since 1980, when the lifetime blood ban was introduced, then 2011 it was overturned to a deferral period) to change the facts about the HIV detection.

In the meantime, many people were stopped from helping other get better, not to mention how many people died because of the lack of blood supply. It seems that campaigns are mandatory for everything, if there is no campaign, very few things get changed, unless the tune from the top says otherwise.