I’m happy to inform you that two years after I reported a discriminatory practice in blood donation by the Red Cross on our campus, the situation has been remedied, at least on campus. I walked up there with a friend today, as I’ve done for the last two years, to check their list of exemptions. Nothing in there mentions “Nigeria”, or “sexual contact” as it did the last time, although – now more understandably – people who have travelled to “malaria-prone” zones of the world are required to wait for about three years before donating blood. The science and the common sense are now finally catching up with the other.

Update: On the other hand, the Red Cross website still has the following under its eligibility criteria, under the topic of HIV:

You are at risk for getting infected if you: … were born in, or lived in, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea,Gabon, Niger, or Nigeria, since 1977… had sex with anyone who, since 1977, was born in or lived in any of these countries… (http://www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood/eligibility-requirements/eligibility-criteria-alphabetical-listing).

Could someone please inform the Red Cross that you are at risk of getting HIV if you live anywhere on the surface of the earth today and you do things that put you at risk?

 

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