For the record, I am not HIV-positive. I've never engaged in any sexual activity that would put me at risk of becoming HIV-positive. I don't take risks, I'm rather fond of being alive. Despite this, I've been tested for HIV just to be sure, and have always come up negative. I've been with one partner for the last 2.5 years, have never cheated and never will.
That's why this announcement from the Harper government banning gay men from donating organs is truly disgusting. I wonder what John Baird and other gay Tories think about it.
The policy is reminiscent of Canada Blood Services' similar ban on sexually-active gay men and others from donating blood.
The big difference, of course, is Canada Blood Services conducts its screening on living people. Potential blood donors must answer questions before donating. If a man answers 'Yes' to the question asking if he has had sex with another man, even once, since 1977, he is disallowed from donating blood. The answer, coming from the would-be donor, is credible.
How will Health Canada, hospitals and other organ donation officials screen out gay men from donating organs after they die?
The explanation thus far is absolutely pathetic and stupid!
Transplant Manitoba, which procures organs in that province, says transplant programs must now by law interview family members of the donor as part of screening potential donors.
"We'll be asking about things like travel, history of infectious disease, whether they've [donors] been in jail — that puts you at increased risk," says Dr. Peter Nickerson, director of Transplant Manitoba. "Have they been an IV drug abuser in the past? Have they had tattoos? There's a whole list of questions we go through."
As well, they will be asked about the donor's sexual orientation. The donor will be excluded if the donor is a man who had sex with another man in the previous five years.
What happens if the family doesn't know about the man's sexual orientation? What if the family isn't willing to admit to a health official that their son was gay? How can the family answer if their son has had sex with a man in the past five years versus the past six years?
Why are men who have had sex with another man in the previous five years excluded? If it's been six years since you had sex with another man, why are your organs so special and acceptable?
This policy is shoddy, full-of-holes and can't stand up under serious scrutiny. It's stupid and blatantly discriminatory. I foresee a human rights lawsuit coming on.
My organs are as safe as any heterosexual's. This policy is absolute bullshit! Chalk this policy up as yet another despicable attempt by the Harper government to further insinuate that gay men are somehow inherently unhealthy, regardless of behaviour and life choices.