Tag Archives: Red Cross

Obama administration lifts 32-year-old ban on gay / bisexual men donating blood

Breitbart News reports.

Excerpt:

The Obama administration, more interested in pleasing its LGBT supporters than in protecting the health of the general public, is proposing “new rules” through the FDA that would terminate the 32-year-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

Hilariously, the FDA would still ban gay men from donating if they confess to having sex with a man within a year before donating blood.

The FDA did admit that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral.”

[…]The FDA decided that the MSM group (men who have sex with men) was much less of a risk than those in the commercial sex work (CSW) and injection drug use (IDU) groups, even though the agency reported, “In 2010, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 63% of newly diagnosed HIV infections among adults, and 78% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in men, indicating that male-to-male sexual contact remains associated with high risk of HIV exposure.” Further, the FDA allowed that “the available epidemiologic data in the published literature do not support the concept that MSM who report mutual monogamy with a partner or who report routine use of safe sex practices are at low risk for HIV.”

So why make the change? The FDA admits, “Although not making a change would maintain the current level of safety of the blood supply, as noted above… there is evidence that the deferral policy is becoming less effective over time. In addition, the policy is perceived by some as discriminatory.

Previously, I blogged about the HIV infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM).

It said:

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HIV infection in the United States reveal some disturbing trends concerning gay males or, in CDC terminology, “men who have sex with men” (MSM). In recent data the CDC estimated that 61 percent of the 48,079 HIV infections diagnosed in 2010 occurred through male to male sexual contact.(1) According to the CDC data, sexual contact and injection drug use are the predominant means by which HIV is transmitted.

The CDC data on HIV diagnoses came from forty-six states and five U.S. dependent areas. Some 29,194 new HIV diagnoses in 2010 were linked to male homosexual contact where no injection drug use took place. There were approximately 4550 HIV male diagnoses linked to heterosexual contact. Injection drug use was involved in 5481 cases. Women contracting the HIV virus through heterosexual contact accounted for approximately 8,800 cases. Another 47 HIV cases came from sources other than the four listed. Included in the other 47 cases were blood transfusions and prenatal exposure.(2) When CDC statistics are analyzed using the estimate of the MSM population at 4 percent of the American male population and assuming the other 96 percent who do not have sex with men are heterosexual, the risk of HIV infection from sexual contact for MSM was approximately 150 times greater than the heterosexual male population in 2010.(3)

Did Obama make a good decision by lifting the ban?

Former NIH director says that health care bill is an attack on patient choice

Story here at Hot Air. (Via Confederate Yankee via ECM)

Here’s the ex-NIH Director:

Dr. Bernardine Healy ran the National Institute of Health has a rather daunting resumé on health care issues.  She became the first woman to run the National Institute of Health in 1991, has served on two Presidential Council of Advisers on Science and Technology, and served as President of the Red Cross.

And here are her comments in US News:

The bill takes all sorts of choices out of patients’ and doctors’ hands. Even mammograms and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests would be similarly restricted by the government for millions of people, and they actually serve as better examples of what happens more broadly to personal medical decision making in the new system.

[…]As the pioneering prostate cancer surgeon Patrick Walsh of Johns Hopkins points out, a European randomized trial showed that PSAs saved lives. In the United States, there has been a 40 percent reduction in prostate cancer deaths since testing began in the early 1990s. Yet prostate screening arouses many of the same concerns as does breast cancer screening: too many follow-on studies, too many biopsies, and surgery on slow-growing tumors that may never have harmed the patient. The government task force claims that there’s insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for routine screening of men younger than 75 and is firmly against screening in men older than that. The American Urological Association’s position is the polar opposite: Baseline PSAs should be offered to men at age 40, and the frequency of subsequent testing should be determined by doctor and patient choice.

Ed Morrissey adds:

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests help catch prostate cancer early. The American Urological Association wants men screened with the test beginning at age 40 to catch the problem at its earliest stages.

[…]The government board wants to move away from what it sees as excessive testing, claiming that it will reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety in patients. It’s no small coincidence that it will also save the government money — and in the case of PSAs, it will save money directly if Medicare refuses to pay for PSA tests until age 75, rather than retirement age.

Right now, the US leads the world in catching, treating, and curing prostate cancer. Britain, which has a single-payer system that rations care, has one of the lowest ratings in the world. That’s not a coincidence.

He who pays the piper calls the tune. If we want to keep patient choice, then we have to pay for our own care. If we allow the government to absorb our choices in the name of “fairness,” expect the USPSTF and other government panels to ration these tests and reduce our chances of surviving these cancers.

Previously, I wrote about a Stanford University professor’s survey of health care systems around the world, in which he compared American health care to single-payer systems, favored by those on the left. In Canada, there is a 184% increase in prostate cancer mortality rates, compared with American mortality rates for prostate cancer. That’s what we’re headed for if the public option passes.