aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, May 24, 2007
FDA: Gay blood still tainted
Recently I had blood drawn for a physical. Students saw the band aid and asked had I given blood?
“No,” I replied, “I’m gay.”
They thought it a non sequitur.
I explained the 1983 prohibition that was affirmed again yesterday:
Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.
In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB and America’s Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-year deferral following male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, which can detect HIV-positive donors within just 10 to 21 days of infection, make the lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the FDA.
Think Progress has more.
More lanes, trains and automobiles
Yesterday I doubted that new Interstate Highways would be built in Georgia. I have even greater doubt that proposed train lines - from Atlanta to Macon and Atlanta to Athens - will ever get built. The Georgia Department of Transportation committee charged with making a decision held a meeting yesterday:
“I frankly am fearful that if it’s pushed to a vote at the board ... there won’t be enough votes to pass it,” he said.
To that end, several options emerged at the end of Wednesday’s nearly four-hour session, any one of which could be recommended to the full board. The options, as described by Walker and other members of the DOT’s Intermodal Committee, which Walker chairs, are:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Shelve the project.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Go forward with the Lovejoy line, which would require finding a funding source for expected multimillion-dollar operating losses associated with running the trains. This has been a sticking point - so much so that it has essentially brought plans to a standstill while state and local government officials dicker over who will cover the losses, or whether anyone is willing to cover them.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Shift gears and make a similar commuter route connecting Athens to Atlanta a higher priority than the Lovejoy line. This so-called Brain Train has had a higher profile lately compared to the Lovejoy-Macon line, as students and developers have been lobbying state leaders hard. But Brain Train supporters say they also support the Macon project and would like to see the two joined in Atlanta.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Hire an independent consultant to get “fresh information” and “tell us what, if anything, we should do,” Walker said.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Hold off on decisions until this fall, when the DOT is expected to complete a new analysis to update cost, projected ridership and other figures that have grown stale as the project languished. In many cases, figures are five or more years old.
This - a bad idea if ever there was one - I think most likely to get built:
[DOT board member David] Doss has proposed a 1-cent tax to pay for transportation projects and make up a predicted multibillion difference between the costs of projects planned and the money available to do them. His plan includes a controversial tunnel beneath the city of Atlanta and more highway lanes.
Not much more from the AJC.
I’m a train fan but unfortunately have come to believe their time has past and the die is cast. Our population is too dispersed, our car-culture too entrenched. We grouse about gas prices and long commutes but keep making the same mistakes in city after city. 24 lanes in Phoenix, 23 coming soon to Atlanta. Our legacy to our children? They will sit in traffic on those roads; then clean up the mess we’ve made.