Melissa, Queer as Folk and the Blood

Yes, Queer as Folk went off ages ago and it wasn’t for the faint or the conservative at heart. There was a lot of sex, drugs and just plain meanness to the show that some might find off putting. However, it’s hard to deny the importance of the show. Queer As Folk is one of the rare examples of Americans doing a British show and not producing epic fail.Also, the fact that it didn’t stray from current political issues and HIV awareness was a brave move that paid off well for the show.

I can’t remember every moment of the show. I haven’t seen every episode. I’ll probably correct this sooner than later now that I’m on vacation. Nevertheless, there are moments though that will always stick out me, moments that were dramatically real. I couldn’t find the clip of what I’m about to describe so you’ll have to do with my memory.

Michael, our leading character that of course was the most annoying, gets hurt after someone bombs the nightclub. Political reasons. Anti-gayness. You know. Anyway, he needs blood. Brian is Type O- or at very least a type he knows he can donate to Michael. However, the hospital people know where these guys just came from and tells them outright that gays can’t donate blood. This pisses the crowd off, and, at least in my case, works to piss off the viewer. Brian shows a rare moment of emotion that isn’t centered around himself and demands that they take his blood and give it to Michael. This demand doesn’t work. I forget how it ends but Michael pulls through.

Today that ban still exists. According to this story by msnbc, “Ban on Gay Blood Donors Uphead: Panel admits flaws, but restrictions likely to remain”, a heterosexual person with an HIV positive partner is only banned from giving blood for a year from that contact while a gay man can apparently never give blood. Your sexual orientation dictates whether or not you can give blood. Let that sink in. Not your high risk sexual behaviors and one does not necessarily say anything about the other.

According to this article on mlive.com, “Red Cross, blood centers lobby to end ban on gay men donating blood“, the American Red Cross and the American Blood Center call the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”  So it’s not just the gay advocates or the much feared liberal PC police that is calling for a lift of this ban, in case you were wondering. Instead of a lifetime ban, they call for a one year ban from the time of sexual man on man contact…which is a step. Another alteration to that is to include not only celibate gay men but gay men who have been in a monogamous relationship for a year. It estimated that 89,000 pints of blood could result from a one year deferral in place of a lifetime ban.

There are some that bring up the issue that it is about blood safety, not supply. If that is the case then more populations and not just gay men should be banned from donating blood. And let’s be frank here, the sex you think gay guys are likely to be having… the sex that is most likely to transmit the HIV virus….is also had by straight people. So… where does that leave us? Maybe an additional question in the screening process for donation? Yea.

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Melissa, Queer as Folk and the Blood

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