Tag Archives: stigma

GOP Senators Demand Television Rating Warnings For LGBT Characters

This program is rated GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

GOP Senators Roger Marshall, Mike Lee, Mike Braun, Steve Daines and Kevin Cramer signed and sent the letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board board’s chairman Charles Rivkin demanding an update its rating system to warn parents if a show contains an LGBT+ character. 

“In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria,” the letter reads.  To this end, we strongly urge you to update the TV Parental Guidelines and ensure they are up-to-date on best practices that help inform parents on this disturbing content. This radical and sexual sensation not only harms children but also destabilizes and damages parental rights,” the letter continued. 

FOX NEWS ATLANTA

The TV ratings system was adopted in conjunction with the so-called V-chip, which is required in all TV sets built since 2000 and allows parents to block programming 

REMINDER: COVID Is Not Over! - 12,500 Americans Died Of COVID-19 In July.

Gay Men Banned From Participating in Covid-19 Plasma Trial

Gay and bisexual men in the UK have been told they cannot donate their plasma to a trial hoping to provide a treatment for Covid-19.

Via itv.com:

Doctors at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital are aiming to use the plasma from recovered coronavirus patients to treat others with the disease.

It is hoped that the possible treatment, known as convalescent plasma, will help Covid-19 patients whose bodies are not producing enough antibodies to fight the disease.

But any man who has had sex with another man within the past three months is excluded from donating their plasma, in line with the current rules for donating blood.

Those guidelines explain that “men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of acquiring certain infections through sex”, which could be passed on during a transfusion

The guidelines around donating blood are set by the Department of Health on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. Under the current guidelines, men must wait three months after having oral or anal sex with another man.

A spokesperson for the upcoming COVID-19 trial stated  : “The guidelines are there to protect the health of the donor and the recipient.

Laura Russell, Director of Policy at UK Stonewall, said: “It’s really upsetting that gay and bi men who want to help in the fight against coronavirus are being prevented from doing so. The decision on whether people should be able to give blood or plasma should be based on individual risk assessments, not on people’s sexual orientation.”

FDA Reduces Restrictions On Gay Male Blood Donors, Continues Stigmatization

FDA Reduces Restrictions On Gay Male Blood Donors, Continues Stigmatization

Via NBC News:

Amid what it’s calling an “urgent need for blood,” the FDA revised its blood donor guidelines on Thursday, significantly easing the restrictions on men who have sex with men.

The new guidelines reduce the donation deferral period for sexually active gay and bisexual men from 12 months to three, meaning these otherwise healthy men will now have to abstain from same-sex sexual activity for 90 days before they are eligible to donate blood.

Other 12-month deferral periods have also been shortened under the new guidelines, including those for people who have traveled to areas with certain endemic diseases, those who have engaged in injection drug use and people who have participated in commercial sex work.

Under a regulation change in 2015, gay and bisexual had to refrain from sex for a year before they are permitted to donate blood.  This replaced a former 1983 ruling that stated gay and bisexual men could not donate at all which was leftover from the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when little was known about the disease or how to test for it.

The continued stigmatization of gay male blood donors in the 21st century is uncalled for and needlessly cruel especially since in this terrible time since all blood donations are screened for tested for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis, and HTLV (human T-lymphotropic virus), which can cause a blood or nerve disease.

England To Reduce Restrictions On Gay Men Giving Blood from 1 Year to 3 Months of Celibacy

Great Britian To Reduce Restrictions On Gay Men Giving Blood from 1 Year to 3 Months of Celibacy

Gay men in England will be allowed to donate blood three months after having sex instead of a year, under equality reforms announced by the government yesterday.

Fears over infections being passed on through donations from gay men led to an outright ban at the height of the Aids epidemic but that was cut to 12 months in 2011. Medical advances mean the time limit will be reduced again under plans for the NHS in England.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said the government was building on the progress made on tackling prejudice in the 50 years since the partial decriminalization of homosexuality.

“This government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality and today we’re taking the next step forward,” she said. “We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.”

In 2015 the United States changed its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood to the  1 year ban well behind that of the UK and and other parts of Europe.

Gay Blood Ban Art Installation Near Chelsea Market In NYC Proves Powerful Point

Gay Blood Ban Art At Chelsea Market

 

Two dumpsters filled with fake blood bags has been set up near the Chelsea Market to raise awareness on the FDA’s outdated and stigmatizing gay blood ban against gay men.

“Gay men are still discriminated against, they’re not allowed to donate blood,” said Mike Devlin, Creative Director at FCB Health.

Devlin and FCB Health created this art installation in partnership with The Gay Men’s Health Crisis to raise awareness about the thousands of pints of blood he says are lost every year due to the gay blood ban.

For decades, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited men who have sex with other men from donating blood.

Last year health officials eased the ban — now gay men have to remain celibate for a full year before donating

“As the universal donor I’m O negative. I feel like my blood could have a lot of use, it’s a civil injustice to a large population that we’re unable to donate our blood,” said one man.

The donation issue made headlines again after the Orlando nightclub shooting — when dozens of gay friends of victims wanted to donate blood — but discovered they couldn’t.

And while the FDA said in the wake of the shooting that they “empathize” with those who want to donate, they said the scientific evidence was not available to support an alternative to the current deferral policy.

“Every pint of blood that gets donated is actually screened, everyone. Mine yours anyone who donates, so the fact that gay men are still barred from actually participating in something that is very much a human thing —to donate blood to friends and family — it doesn’t make sense,” added Mike Devlin.

Organizers behind this blood project hope this Installation creates an image for the public to see just how much blood is potentially lost.

“It’s a waste of a very important source I think, we could use much better, I don’t think there’s a reason to ban it,” said Yoev, another passerby.

Officials from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis say they’re continuing to push the FDA to accelerate their review of the ban so that everyone’s blood will be treated fairly.

Other countries without the ban have perfectly safe blood supplies. Italy, for example, replaced a similar ban fifteen years ago with an approach based on sexual practices. This “individual risk assessment” approach did not harm blood safety. In 2015 Argentina lifted its ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual men. Health Minister Daniel Gollán declared that the change is “scientifically and technically accurate” and based on a medical approach that replaces that old concept of ‘risk groups.’

Mexico Now Allowing Gay Men To Donate Blood

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Mexico is making great strides in treating each of their citizens fairly and eliminating decades of discrimination and inequality. Earlier this month, Mexico’s Supreme Court lifted the ban on same sex marriage. Now Mexico is taking it a step further by allowing gay men to donate blood. The issue has always been a taboo subject in political arenas as a result of erroneous generalizations surrounding gay men.

The National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED) addressed the change in Mexico’s policy stating that the old policies were a form of discrimination:

“…From now on, medical/scientific criteria will be used to identify pathogens in the blood and the focus will be turned to risky behaviors rather than social groups.

In making these discriminatory distinctions, the [previous] norm explicitly violated the prohibition against discrimination present in the Constitution and the Federal Law to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination, as well as Article 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 26 of the International Civil and Political Rights Treaty, among other international instruments of law, which establish that every person is equal before the law regardless of any condition.”

Will we aee this type of movement in the United States anytime soon? Maybe. In an article addressing the stigma surrounding blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM) the current policy banning the practice has been called out for revision and to have new guidelines:

Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. The policy has been heavily criticized recently for misrepresenting 21st Century scientific realities; and the American Red Cross, alongside senators, universities and other organizations, have called for an updated policy that reflects the realities of modern science and technology

…I learned of nation-wide efforts requesting that the FDA update the Red Cross questionnaire. Schools around the country have responded with petitions challenging the legality of the policy and calling on the FDA to change the policy’s outdated origins so as to reflect modern science and medical literature on HIV.

In any case, this new change will get the conversation going.