World AIDS Day 2016

I didn’t know that today was World AIDS Day. I have been extremely fortunate that no one that I know personally has been afflicted with the disease. As a regular donator of blood, I look forward to a time when it and other blood related diseases are cured.

This morning, by pure coincidence, I decided that today was the day to go donate blood. As I’ve posted about before, my own blood has been suspect of late as my spleen is slightly enlarged. I have been to the hematologist twice now and my blood work has come back negative for any indicators. The current theory is “probably stress”. Unfortunately “stress” also comes with a high blood pressure which makes the blood collectors (Vampires?) a little nervous. So blood donation took a little longer this morning than it normally does while they called in a doctor to make sure everything was good.

Speaking of Vampires. I was dropped off this morning on the way to dropping my little girl off at daycare. I told her “Ok, I’m getting dropped off here to go see the vampires.” Her response in full on Mary Kate and Ashley Olson style was “Vampires are Kewl.” I couldn’t be more proud.

Before giving blood, there is a survey that you take about your medical and travel history. Been in contact with strange blood? Contracted Mad Cow disease? Got any new piercings? Etc. One that has always been a little frustrating to see was the “Have you EVER had sexual contact with another male, even once?” Today I noticed that that question has been changed. Now they’re only interested in seeing if I’d been with another male in the past 12 months.

It is worth noting that as ‘Yes’ response doesn’t immediately mean you are disqualified from donating. Every time I donate I have to answer ‘Yes’ to the ‘Have you EVER had a problem with your heart or lungs?’ question. Each time, I say yes and then when I am interviewed about it, I let them know that I’ve been asymptomatic for the past 2 decades. I suspect the follow up questions for gay sex would relate to monogamy and safe sex.

I didn’t discover that today was World AIDS Day ( until I arrived at the office and discovered (speaking of safe sex) that there was a bowl full of condoms sitting on the counter next to the sinks. It is good to know that work has my well being in mind.

Be safe and may your blood tests come back negative.