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BLOOD BANKING ASSIGNMENT

1. How do you feel about the character of doctor Don Francis


Dr. Don Francis of the American CDC was asked by his colleague, if you hate the
government so much, why do you work so hard to protect it? And without any doubt,
he replied, because thats where the diseases are. This kind of mentality, is the most
ideal mind set for our profession as medical workers. He is passionate about his
craft, he never lose track on what he believes in, he never cracked under pressure,
and he never submitted to conformity and the hypocrisy of bureaucracy, supported
by his unprecedented enmity and opposition to doctor Robert Gallo. I feel inspired by
his life, and it makes me love my craft as well because Dr. Don Francis reminds me
that there are people who believes in this craft, saving lives.
2. What do you think is the role of blood transfusion in the spread of HIV in
the 1980s?
HIV is a blood Bourne pathogen, therefor blood transfusion catalyzed the spread of
HIV in the United States, and infected thousands of patients. Since during that time,
there was no screening for HIV, the spread was easy. Implications however was not
only limited to the healthcare settings. There were also other effects such as
sociopolitical conflicts which later led to gays being stigmatized by society.
3. There is a feeling that MSM are no longer sensitive to threat of HIV. What is
your stand on no gay people should be allowed to donate blood.
The stereotype of gays and HIV is cruel and inhumane. Discrimination should never
be enforced by the government if otherwise preventable. There really is no basis for
this, for one, before a person should donate blood, he and/or she undergoes
screening for HIV, therefor what is the need of banning gays to donate if they test
negative for HIV. Another reason is that HIV is not only transmitted by MSM, and that
problem is already addressed by screening tests.

4. Why were the blood banks across America slow in giving support during
the time on HIV epidemic?

How many dead hemophiliacs do you need? How many people have to die to
make it cost efficient for you people to do something about it? this was the line
of Dr. Don Francis during a meeting in CDC headquarters in Atlanta, January of
1983.
What do we see in the line of Don Francis? We see that he is unhappy with the
support that the Blood banks are doing in relation to the prevention of the spread
of HIV.
Obviously, the Blood banks were tied to the financial burden that the proposed
test of the CDC. This was the primary concern and reason for the slow respond
of the blood banks. Because during that time, if you were to put yourself in their
shoes, 8 dead hemophiliacs really wasnt cost efficient and enough reason to
spend 100 million a year. Although today, we are well versed that such test is
really necessary, their hands were tied because it was not logical to compromise
such amount owing to the fact that the CDC really had no concrete evidence that
HIV was blood born. The FDA which was the primary institution that regulated
Blood banks in America also did not find compelling evidence immediately,
therefor there was no immediate order to conduct support. But the most
compelling message I found in the movie is the lack of support from the higher
office due to the Raegan administration, whose republican view tainted anything
liberal. The lack of funding of the CDC led to the delayed evidence in proving the
connection of HIV in Blood transfusion.
5. As a future RMT, what could you do to lessen the risk of transfusion
transmitted disease?
The risk of transfusion medicine is reversely proportional to the advancement of
medicine, now if I want to lessen the risk it means that I have to do something
to advance medicine in blood transfusion, and this entails research. Also, as a
practitioner, I have to do well with my job to lessen the technical error which is
also considered a risk in any field of medicine. I must be constantly updated with
the medical circle and be very keen in observing what is happening around me.