And the Band Played on: Blood Bank Resistance

So reluctant

They refuse to say its blood transfusion that is spreading AIDS, they say its a genetic disorder. Vested Interest. Until there is scientific proof that it is AIDS..there is another viable alternative case, and that is that it could be a genetic disorder. The scientists at the time knew better. This is the 1980s. Nine babies were infected and obviously, they are going around engaging in radically sexual activities- most babies are getting it from their mothers. AIDS crossed the placenta barrier. It is also passed through breast milk after child birth. 

over & over & over again they’d say (they, blood banks) that there would be a one in a million chance you’d get AIDS from transfusions. That figure of speech sounded so much like a statistic that it made people feel comfortable to continue donating. CDC/Scientist could not get any cooperation out of the Blood Banking Industry. Industry even resisted asking donors if they were high risk donors, meaning did they have Hepatitis B. They don’t want statistics. They don’t want to have to change their business model attitude of, we have to have this number of vials to keep people alive. We don’t want to exlucde certain donors and you scientists can’t prove this disease is communicable anyway. This is Blood Banks talking, We don’t want it to be true. The fear of Legation. But Scientists say how many deaths do you need, ill come back then. This is going to continue to be a long drawn out issue- whether or not Blood Banks are safe. 

The are two sides to the blood banking business model that Shiltz wraps up and groups together as one. The non-profit side, which gave the most pressure to CDC, and then the commercial side, the side that makes money off of blood donations. The FDA oversees the blood banks but did nothing and let the blood bank decide what ever they wanted for themselves. Medical, Political & Social shit all gets mixed together and when we think with out thinking critically, shit happens. (Well, we’ll screw it up some other way, but we hope, not this way again. That we could learn from this, a little bit…) P.S. Everyone needs research money. Your Plasma sells for 50 dollars at your local hospital.

We as a nation took the blood supply for granted, they told us it was safe…we believed it was safe. The blood banks eventually did say we need all of these protections that the CDC originally wanted them to have. Questioners, Privacy (civil rights), those who didn’t want to be publicly outed. Difficult line between public good and individual civil liberty. Objections of expense went out the window when science got caught up with needs of blood banking industry — a test to check for AIDS/Hep.B. We live in a world where you get rejected from blood donating for a wide variety of things, if in the 1980s you were rejected from donating it was because of one thing and one thing only- you had AIDS. 

AIDS Memorial Quilt “these people are just getting lost” Convince society that this matters. personalize this. Throughout the book people found it difficult to see people as people.

Ryan White: Nobody could find a way to spin it as his fault. 

Aids can be obtained through Factor VIII.


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