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Public comment: Blood discrimination

August 18, 2010 - 3:40 pm

CityBeat‘s policy is to publish letters to the editor that comment on something the letter writer read in our paper. But sometimes I’ll get letters on random topics. Maybe I’ll post those here once in a while.

Here’s one I just received titled “Red Cross Discrimination”:

I answered ‘No’ to question 34 today before I donated blood. I’ve not had sex with a man since 1977.  I’d always ignored the feeling in my stomach when I answered that question before. The feeling that I’m helping to discriminate against gay and bisexual men. But today was the last time I answer that question. I’ll participate in the blood drive that my gay friends and colleagues are invited to.

As an actuary in the healthcare field, I understand that risky behavior can lead to unclean blood.  As long as we’re making broad assumptions about donors, maybe we should stop accepting blood from urban black women (high HIV rates) and Catholics (condoms are a sin).

Kyle Hutmaker
San Diego

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