Post # 1
My employer offers employees 4 hours vacation time each time you donate blood or platelets. However, I’m not supposed to donate blood since I have done sex work. However, I have no STD’s, and the only STD I’ve ever had was chlamydia back in high school.
How serious is this ban? Anyone have any experience with this? I really would like the extra vacation time.
Post # 3
What is “sex work”? I would not donate blood…because you would have to lie to do so. Maybe ask your employer if there is another kind of volunteering you could do in order to obtain vacation time?
Post # 4
@rubyred605: Here’s what I think, as a long time blood donor.
You don’t actually have to donate the blood in order to get the vacation days. You only have to offer to. So you do something like this:
1. Sign up for a slot & show up.
2. Fill out the questionnaire truthfully
3. Get rejected as a potential donor (there are many reasons you could be rejected, like low iron, travel, tattooes, etc.) No one needs to know why you were not selected on this particular day.
4. Celebrate with your half day!
ETA: I know they test all the blood but it seems unethical to lie about this. Also it’s a waste of everyone’s time for you to donate.
Post # 5
Please, please do not go against the blood bank’s wishes if they recommend that you do not donate. I’ve had several patients over the years that acquired diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV through blood transfusions. Hep C doesn’t always show up right away… it sometimes takes years, even decades to develop. This is probably why based on your past they recommend that you don’t donate.
Post # 6
How long ago did you stop doing sex work?
The reason for the ban is that HIV can take a few months to show up in the bloodstream, so you can be infected and not know it. I don’t know why it’s a lifelong ban though–that just seems discriminatory.
MadameTussaud Hep C is transmitted through blood and not bodily fluids though. Hep B is transmitted exactly like HIV, but most people born in the US and are younger than 30 have been vaccinated due to school vaccination requirements.
I don’t think she should lie, but I think a lifelong ban for sex work is dumb in the first place. If it’s been years and they have tested negative after disengaging in the high-risk behavior, they should be good to go.
Post # 7
@MadameTussaud: Ahhh, I didn’t even think about Hep C. I’m fairly certain I’m ok, but just in case, it’s good to know. I don’t have HIV though! 😉
@LucyLaLa: No, you actually have to donate the blood where I work. 🙁 It really sucks, because that’s like, what, 4 extra days a year, if you donate regularly.
Post # 8
@worldtraveler: I stopped roughly two years ago. Yeah, it does seem pretty unfair!!
Post # 9
Find a way to earn vacation time that doesn’t involve a huge waste of resources. If you sign-up and get rejected like a PP suggested, I imagine that will only work once, maybe twice before your employer catches on that you are just doing it for the time off. If you LIE an actually donate the blood, you are wasting time and effort testing blood that may or may not be used, not to mention potentially risking someone’s life, should something be missed in screening, all so you can have a few extra hours off. Yeah, no. Just don’t even bother signing up.
Post # 10
I really would urge you NOT to donate, especially if your only motivating factor is the free vacation time. You risk contaminating the blood supply which, at the minimum would cause the blood bank to incur a lot of extra cost, and at the worst could potentially infect several people. Don’t put all those people at risk just for a few hours off.
Perhaps you could have a discreet conversation with your boss where you volunteer to be the donation coordinator in exchange for the vacation time. Blood banks always need someone to check people in, manage appointments, recruit volunteers, etc, and those are almost always drawn from the company’s employee volunteers rather than actual blood bank staff. You would still be contributing to the overall effort, and would be earning your time off reward. If you did not want to discuss your previous career with your boss when you approach him/her on this, you could always say that you are deathly afraid of needles but still wanted to help out. I find this more honorable than knowing you can’t give blood but trying to do it anyway or finding a loophole (the questionnaire) that lets you have the time off without actually helping anyone.
PS I don’t find the lifelong ban unfair at all; there are new diseases discovered all the time, and some of them are quite nasty, and blood banks don’t screen for every single disease that’s already known. You know when you do sex work that you take certain risks, and that those risks may not make themselves known for many years, but that’s your body and you choice. It’s not fair of you to put the impact of your choice onto someone who doesn’t get the chance to make that choice themselves.
Post # 11
As bad as it sucks 4 extra days off work a year does not seem worth it to me. I wouldn’t want to infect someone with something that you may not know you have (that takes years to show.)
I think that is why the lifelong ban happens.
My friend passed away 5 months ago. She had to have platelets & such given to her every few weeks. (She had a rare blood disorder.) Anyways, the tiniest thing could make her REALLY sick. So if she got something from someone who donated.. It would have been really bad.
She passed away from an infection that was in her tooth, it went into her blood stream.
Post # 12
@rubyred605: You can feel good now and for the next 15 years, but still develop Hep C much later. Their rules on blood donation are not random, I promise. A lifelong ban on donating is in place for a reason, not to discriminate. It’s to protect the medically fragile and compromised people whose lives we are trying to save by providing safe blood transfusions.
Post # 13
that is actually discrimatory because what if you can’t donate due to other medical reasons? you should be able to do something else to earn more time off…
Post # 14
How is it unfair that you are banned from donating?! You made the choice to potentially expose yourself to dangerous diseases. That is YOUR choice, since it is YOUR body. But the people who need blood aren’t exactly in peak physical condition to fight off potential diseases, and THEY didn’t get to make the same choice you did. They are relying on healthy, honest donors to save their lives. If that means former durg users and sex workers do not get to donate blood, then I think that’s fair.
Post # 15
@fishbone: +1 I think your solution regarding volunteering to obtain further time off is the best one. OP, there are so many reasons why people can’t donate, and I do think there should be an option for you since it seems to be a discriminatory policy toward anyone who cannot donate blood for whatever reason.
Post # 16
@CTbride2010: That’s why I think it unfair. There should be another option. 🙂
@Miss Apricot: Dude, way harsh.
Honestly, it’s not like I made an appointment for this afternoon. I was just thinking about it, since I have a friend that donates, and she’s ineligible for the same reasons. I googled, and I couldn’t find any info on the reasoning for the ban, so I thought I would ask.