Thursday, January 19, 2006

Time for another rant

The past couple of weeks have seen yet another indignant activist group taking offense at the safety measures employed by the South African National Blood Service.

This time it’s the gays… they object to the fact that having had male-to-male sex excludes the applicant from being able to donate blood.

Okay, I see their point. On the surface it does appear to be a discriminatory policy. But a simple investigation into the facts reveals the reasons for it.

I have recently done some research into HIV. Although I stand to be corrected, if I recall homosexual men are still among the highest risk groups for HIV infection. These statistics aren’t arrived at lightly… the World Health Organisation takes AIDS very seriously and is quite meticulous in their research of it… erring on the side of caution.

And that’s what the SANBS is doing here… erring on the side of caution. Of course they know that there are a great many sexually active gay men who are not HIV positive. But they also know that a sexually active gay man is far more likely to be HIV positive than, say, a 40-year-old virgin. They just can’t take the risk.

The same applies to people who have shared heroin needles or employed the services of a prostitute…. Just because they did those things is not a guarantee that they are now HIV positive, it just means that it’s more likely that they could be. So those things exclude you as well.

But they couldn’t stop at just being publicly indignant about it… oh no. They had to initiate protest action. So the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (note the antagonistic tone of the name) arranged that hundreds of their members would go and donate blood, en masse lying on their questionnaires. Not only is this morally reprehensible on its own, but when you take into consideration that many of the members were unsure of their HIV status, and one man had full-blown AIDS the monumental stupidity of their actions becomes apparent.

They are so determined to make their point that they are willing to put the lives of blood recipients at risk. That is despicable.

It just so happens that the SANBS weren’t born yesterday and have procedures in place designed to protect recipients from potentially contaminated blood, but I’m pretty sure these “donors” weren’t aware of that.

I donate blood regularly… six times a year. I do it because it costs me nothing more than a few minutes of my time every two months, and my contribution can mean the difference between life and death for some unfortunate accident victim or something. I don’t really keep count, but I’ve donated more than twenty times, and I like to think that at least one of those times may well have saved someone’s life.

What these retards are doing is making a mockery of people who do donate regularly.

It sucks being discriminated against because of your demographic. As a single white male in my twenties who drives a high-performance vehicle, I am statistically a high insurance risk, and as a result my insurance premiums are ridiculously high. I hate it, and it costs me a fortune, but I can’t argue with statistics. I have no choice but to pay up, and hope that as I get older and my risk profile changes, my premiums will become more reasonable.

I have to accept it, why can’t these morons just accept that because of their demographic they can’t donate blood? It sucks… but get over it!