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HIV CBA News

Even Reductions on the Ban on Blood Donations for Men Who Have Sex with Men Promotes Stigma and Silence

The FDA’s proposed altering of the ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) who want to donate blood continues to create stigma and barriers to MSM and HIV positive persons. Even with the relaxing of the rules and “lifting” of the ban, Stigma still is prevalent in 2015.

Everyone who is sexually active has a chance of contracting HIV. Because we know our status doesn’t mean we know the habits or status or our partner(s). We put our trust in our partners to tell us the truth, just as blood and plasma banks put their trust in non-MSM donors to tell the truth.

Yes HIV was once known as the “Gay Man Disease,” But as we have come to learn over the last 35 years, HIV and AIDS can infect, effect, and affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation, age, race, gender, religion, or social economic status. What does bind us all together is fear, ignorance, and the idea of “it can’t happen to me!” We have even witnessed the growth of the Silent Population for men and women from fear of being judged.

The Silent population is that group that maintains heterosexual relationships publicly while secretly engaging in same-gender sex. Our curriculum advocates a non-labeling approach and includes strategies for overcoming cultural, psychosocial, structural, and environmental barriers. Meanwhile AIDS-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse, and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS as well as their loved ones, associates, social groups and communities.

The consequences of stigma and discrimination can foster a reluctance to seek care; deter individuals from getting tested; discourage HIV positive persons from discussing their status with sexual and/or needle sharing partners; and have a negative effect on the overall success of treatment.

NCHP has provided capacity building assistance directly resolved to working with communities to reduce stigma and break silence. Please view or website and brochure to learn more about our Stigma in the Community and Silent Population trainings.

For additional reading please visit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/gay-blood-ban-us_n_6155410.html

or

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fda-to-propose-lifting-ban-on-gay-and-bisexual-men-who-want-to-donate-blood/2014/12/23/92af3734-8acd-11e4-9e8d-0c687bc18da4_story.html

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