by Zoë Pollock
Today, several demographics are known to be at a heightened risk for HIV infection —intravenous drug users, sex workers, blacks, incarcerated men. But rules for who can donate blood continue to disproportionately affect men who have sex with men. Intravenous drug users, sex workers, and people who have lived in certain African countries are also subjected to lifetime bans, but people who pay for sex or sleep with a drug user are only deferred from donating for 12 months. If you’re a guy who has sex with a guy—again, just once—your blood is deemed compromised forever.
(Photo by Flickr user Aaron Edwards, who can’t donate because he’s gay.)