Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Run! There's AIDS in the air!

Today is the National Day of Action for the protesting of Health Canada's recent decision to ban gay men from donating organs. Health Canada's latest provisions ban all sexually active gay men from donating organs as they live "high-risk lives". Translation? They're here, they're Queer and they're all HIV positive. Apparently. Keeping in mind that Canadian gay men are also prohibited from donating blood.

This is pretty shitty on its own. But how about a little context?

Between January and October 2007, 50% of HIV positive cases in the city of London, Ontario alone were heterosexual womyn. (Source: saqd.net)

Meaning? In case you lived under a rock for the past 20 yrs (Or work for Health Canada), the HIV is not a gay disease. In fact, new reports show that because of the myth that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease, heterosexual lady folk are contracting it at higher rates, thinking they are not at risk. As a heterosexual lady folk myself, I donate blood all the time and am on the organ donor and marrow list. And yet, I've never been asked by a doctor if I've had anal sex, which is what is the actual root of the discussion. It's not gay men, it's anal sex. And yet, age old stereotypes are not only increasing the rates of HIV in Canadian womyn but they're also discriminating unnecessarily against gay men.

All this is going on while

According to the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry Report, in 2005, more than 4,000 Canadians waited for an organ transplant while less than 2,000 organs were retrieved for transplant.

People are dying while waiting for organ donation and the government is giving healthy gay men a hassle. Yes, it is not an outright ban against gay men donating organs, but there is a lot more red tape involved. And in the case of blood donation, another necessity in Canada, gay men are outright banned from donating. How ridiculous.

We live in Canada. A country with excellent medical facilities and technology. Technology that screens all potential organ and blood donations for disease. The same could and should be done for gay men who are wanting to donate.

Canadians are dying for organs and blood because of age old stereotypes regarding HIV/AIDS.

Oh and in case this whole banning business wasn't tragic enough for you,

An Ontario judge is at the centre of a misconduct investigation after insisting a witness who is HIV-positive and has Hepatitis C don a mask while testifying in his courtroom.Three groups have complained to the Ontario Judicial Council about the conduct of Barrie judge Justice Jon-Jo Douglas, who later moved the case to a bigger courtroom in order to create more distance between the witness and the bench.
Because you know, that's how you catch HIV/AIDS. It's an airborne disease, didn't you get the memo? Apparently Judge Douglas did. Which is a relief really, because the position of judge is the highest paid profession in Canada.

I need a drink.


Ren said...

Bryn says: "I think it's a good thing, I mean, I wouldn't want to get a blood transfusion and catch 'The Gay'."

Dude, that's fucking lame. How is that even justified. I mean, with the stats you pulled up, how is it even JUSTIFIED!?

I don't get it.

Ouate de phoque?

Copy Editor said...

Thought I'd let you know that you're regularly misspelling a word that represents the sex of about half the human race on your blog.

Just for the record, the correct spelling is "myn."

The myn of the world thank you in advance.