When several countries, including the United States and UK, began recruiting recovered Covid-19 patients for trials exploring the possibility of using donated antibodies as a treatment for coronavirus infection, a number of gay men complained that the three-month deferral criteria still prohibited them from taking part in a possible solution to a national crisis. As white, middle-class gay men work to assert their potential as disease-free candidates for admixture into the national blood supply, their rhetorics cast doubt on the somatic viability of a range of other individuals—to name but a few: the non-white immigrant, the sex worker, the intravenous drug user, those who take risks, those who are HIV-positive, those who are not buoyed by class and racial privilege—all deemed beyond the pale of full-blooded citizenship. my blood could save a life, but instead it’s over here boiling.”. Documentary THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY, Examining the Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Her Multibillion Dollar Healthcare Technology Company Theranos, Debuts March 18 on HBO Tweet. Baffler Newsletter. It’s now worth more than $9 billion, and poised to change health care. While deferral criteria were first introduced in the absence of a known etiology of AIDS and reliable screening methods, the infrastructures of blood safety have vastly improved through the introduction of increasingly sensitive (albeit still imperfect) screening technologies for HIV, the virus long since known to cause AIDS. New email subscribers receive a free copy of our current issue. For years, she rebutted negative rumors about her blood-testing device and dismissed employee defections. Medical Technology. Even as all of our lives are reconfigured by a new viral reality, the very notion that Cohen might be likely to come into contact with another virus, HIV, is simply too appalling to consider. Even monogamy is porous and frequently perverted. Caroline Chen. out for blood. In some cases, the technology hasn’t been fast enough to get blood work back. The government plans for the technology, once proven by soldiers, to be used by all first responders in Britain, in a bid to reduce deaths from rapid blood loss such as after knife attacks. She wooed investors, racking up a … In the process, then, of establishing the figure of the “gay blood donor” as an altruistic, upstanding, and biologically viable citizen within whom the very possibility of HIV cannot cohere, blood donor activists tacitly or explicitly reify old classes of deviants. If someone is out for blood, they are trying to find someone to blame and punish for something bad that has happened. Sherlock vs. Sherlock: A Study in Visual Storytelling, Respectability Politics Can Get in the Way of a Good Story, Meet the ‘WaltRight’: The Disney Diehards Demanding Parks Stay Alcohol-Free. A Medical Technology degree from UWO will prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in healthcare laboratories. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy. Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, HBO’s Emmy-winning Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief) directs a documentary investigating the rise and fall of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar healthcare company founded by Elizabeth Holmes.Read More But those who aren’t lucky enough to pass the purity tests of blood donor activism far exceed a critical gaze on gay sex. This plaque buildup prevents the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, brain, and other vital areas of the body, potentially resulting in heart attack, stroke, or even death. Much has changed since then. He points out, though, that a spinal tap to test for biomarkers in CSF is invasive, and brain scanning is expensive. “I was told that due to antiquated and discriminatory guidelines by the FDA to prevent HIV, I am ineligible to donate blood,” Andy Cohen fumed, gesturing to himself and emphasizing the “I” of “I am.” “I, me, Andy Cohen,” he appears to say. Reference: Takayama N, Murison A, Takayanagi S, et al. Diploma in Blood Bank Technology: Details. Speciating “low-risk” from “high-risk” MSM, a now familiar pattern emerges: good, married, monogamous, condom-using gay men are set against their perverse, barebacking, promiscuous, non-monogamous opposites. Elizabeth Holmes founded her revolutionary blood diagnostics company, Theranos, when she was 19. Can Bon Appétit Recover From This Scandal? . “The characters are at once larger-than-life and real.”. 2019 15+ The movie looks at the rise and fall of Theranos, a health care startup that was a multibillion-dollar fraud. In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start a company that was going to revolutionize healthcare. Press J to jump to the feed. This article appeared in the Science & technology section of the print edition under the headline "Bayhing for blood or Doling out cash?" Documentary THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY, Examining the Rise and Fall of Elizabeth Holmes and Her Multibillion Dollar Healthcare Technology Company Theranos, Debuts March 18 on HBO. "The holy grail in medicine is the blood test. “Low-risk” practices like monogamy and condom use are, therefore, put forth as insurance against the blind spots of BBI testing. For me, the sheer difference in size alone (the G7 will be about the size of a quarter, certainly an improvement over the G6!) Reflection 1 REFLECTION ON THE “OUT FOR BLOOD IN Out for Blood On bids to reform blood donation policy for men who have sex with men ... Benjamin Weil is a PhD candidate at University College London in the Science and Technology Studies Department, where he researches blood donor activism in the UK. We're not out for blood, we're out for justice. Even as a new and devastating global pandemic proffers a political opportunity for certain gay and bisexual men to unlink from the HIV/AIDS crisis that has marked and haunted them and to restore the image of the viable gay male body, queer men must resist the temptation to repudiate the ghost of HIV/AIDS past and place stock in a narrow set of lifestyles, embodiments, and practices that will only ever shore up our conditional acceptance. The letter did not stipulate what “risky” sexual practices entail, but in an April 16 open letter to the FDA, shared by GLAAD and signed by over five hundred scientists and medical professionals, MSM “in monogamous relationships, those on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis [the HIV prevention drug, PrEP], and those who consistently use condoms” were singled out as potentially low-risk donors. In 2013, Holmes partnered with Walgreens to introduce her compact blood-testing device in store pharmacies. It can also allow you to monitor your condition more easily in the long term. Follow @HBOPR for more news and information. She started developing lab-on-a-chip technology for blood tests, with the idea to start a company that would make blood tests cheaper, more convenient and accessible to consumers. Inasmuch as unequal patterns of HIV transmission persist, with proximity to risk and health outcomes structured by the intersections of race, class, and sexuality, the HIV/AIDS crisis is not, and should not be considered by any stretch of the imagination, over. In the post-marriage equality landscape, many gay men have thus invested in blood donation policy as the “next frontier for gay rights.”. The problem with centering this political symbolism within blood donor activism is that it belies the material realities of testing for BBIs. Technology has been too poor to assess all the symptoms, or the waiting list is too long, so patients lose out. PrEP use, for instance, still operates in a zone of epistemic uncertainty for blood services: the only published study on the matter suggests that PrEP’s viral suppression properties can produce “false negative” results in tests of donated blood samples. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology is an incredibly useful tool that can improve diabetes management, and the release of Dexcom’s new CGM, the G7 is certainly one to look out for. Crucially, this epidemiology is classed and racialized. In her seminal critical text, Terrorist Assemblages, the queer theorist Jasbir Puar writes, “There is a transition under way in how queer subjects are relating to nation-states, particularly the United States, from being figures of death (i.e., the AIDS epidemic) to becoming tied to ideas of life and productivity (i.e., gay marriage and families).” Implied here by Puar is that such a move is only made possible if life-bringing queer subjects, on their journey into the national fold, are willing to leave behind and overtly repudiate their figurative associations with death. Also called Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS), medical technologists play a key role in the modern laboratory. The next-generation CGM, the Dexcom G7, should come out in late 2020. Documentary. and . The company claimed that its technology could offer over 240 tests from just a prick of the finger. Black MSM made up an estimated 37 percent of all new diagnoses amongst MSM and, amongst young MSM (aged thirteen to twenty-four), young Black MSM comprised 55 percent of all new infections in that year. Using never-before-seen insider footage and specially created 3-D graphics, director Gibney goes behind the scenes, revealing how Holmes’ invention was plagued with problems from the start, how Theranos rigged test results and defrauded investors, and how rigid non-disclosure agreements prevented employees from telling the truth. Vacuum technology removes dangerous blood clots in heart Date: January 28, 2014 Source: Orlando Health Summary: An innovative vacuum technology can remove potentially deadly, large clots. Under the looming threat of blood shortages, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of nearly three thousand blood drives across the country and facing pressure from Congress and LGBTQ advocacy groups, the Food and Drug administration announced on April 2 that they would finally be relaxing restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). A dispatch from the historic farmers' protests in Punjab. The device is made of a nano-engineered glass that fluoresces when stimulated by … These inherent uncertainties are, in part, why committed advocates for MSM policy reform typically have to dampen their demand for the complete abolition of deferral criteria at the point of their engagement with the FDA, demanding instead that certain “low-risk” (i.e. Elizabeth Holmes was a brilliant storyteller and media handler, well-spoken, attractive, and exuding intelligence and confidence. The imagined “gay blood donor,” then, is the good gay citizen: hygienic, heroic, and worthy of fusion with the heterosexual national body. The movie looks at the rise and fall of Theranos, a health care startup that was a multibillion-dollar fraud. The documentary features interviews with: John Carreyrou, who first broke the story in the Wall Street Journal and went on to write “Bad Blood”; journalists Ken Auletta (The New Yorker) and Roger Parloff (Forbes), who wrote profiles of Holmes; Theranos whistleblowers Tyler Shultz and Erika Cheung; former Theranos employees Dave Philippides, Douglas Matje, Ryan Wistort and Tony Nugent; behavioral economist Dan Ariely; and Dr. Phyllis Gardner, MD, professor of medicine at Stanford University. These politics appear as an attempt to dislocate certain men who have sex with men from the material and social realities of HIV and BBI epidemiology—that MSM continue to shoulder a disproportionate burden of HIV transmission. It is essential that the patient-recipient remains in view of any political discussion of blood donation policy or the “gay blood ban.” After all, it is the patient-recipient who bears the risks of blood shortages, as well as the risks of BBIs—many of which may present mildly in blood donors but can pose a life-threatening risk to blood product recipients, who are often immunosuppressed. And while there is nothing glamorous or necessarily redeemable about the specter of death with which queerness has been homophobically articulated under HIV/AIDS, certain gay men (blood donor activists among them) have, cushioned by racial and class privilege, been all too eager to sidle themselves away from the implication that they or the sex that they have might still be marked by the virus—even in the face of ongoing crisis. Computer Programming. Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. On the ravages of Covid in post-election America. Test results could be delivered to a patient’s phone in hours, and a single test would cost less than half of the reimbursement rate of Medicare and Medicaid. This can give a better reflection of your blood pressure, as being tested in somewhere like a GP surgery can make you feel anxious and can affect the result. In the post-marriage equality landscape, many gay men have thus invested in blood donation policy as the “next frontier for gay rights.” With its emphasis on the altruism of blood donors as selfless saviors of the “sick and dying,” blood donor activism conveys certain gay and bisexual men’s desire for national incorporation, to be considered part of the triumphant cure to the global pandemic, rather than as part of the problem. Accordingly, the loosening of donation criteria in the face of a possible blood crisis induced by coronavirus ought to be a reminder of who and what is at stake in the negotiation of blood donor deferral criteria: namely, the health of the patient. “I was told that due to antiquated and discriminatory guidelines by the FDA to prevent HIV, I am ineligible to donate blood because I’m a gay man.” He thundered on: “When so many people are sick and dying . In 1983, as reports of AIDS-related illness among recipients of blood donations, many of whom were patients with hemophilia, began to fill the desks of blood transfusion service officials across the world, certain “high risk” groups—including MSM, commercial sex workers, intravenous drug users, and, later, people who have been sexually active in “high risk” regions like sub-Saharan Africa—were asked to self-defer from giving blood. Oscar® winner Alex Gibney (HBO’s Emmy®-winning “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”) directs the riveting documentary, which reveals what happened and explores the psychology of deception behind Silicon Valley’s ‘‘fake it till you make it’’ mindset. Share. Another CDC report published in the same year suggested that Black and poor people are at significantly higher risk of HIV infection and subsequently developing AIDS-related illnesses, a result of reduced access and barriers to health care, HIV testing, and life-saving antiretroviral medication. George Frodsham’s company, MediSieve, is getting ready to take on human trials as well. Holmes dropped out of Stanford in 2003 and used the education trust from her parents to found the company that would later be called Theranos, derived from a combination of the words "therapy" and "diagnosis". He and his collaborators have launched a startup, Akna Dx, to commercialize it. GlucoSense is a spin-out of the University of Leeds, UK, that is developing a laser technology to monitor glucose levels. Holmes dazzled Silicon Valley and Wall Street over the next few years, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital and enlisting such notables as former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former senators Sam Nunn and Bill Frist, and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis to sit on the company’s board. . Continued The imagined “gay blood donor,” then, is the good gay citizen: hygienic, heroic, and worthy of fusion with the heterosexual national body. Cohen and others express a militaristic plea to let gay and bisexual men line up, roll up their sleeves, and bleed for the nation, like so many soldiers before them. Scientists set out to figure out why mosquitoes love the taste of blood so much, and how they can detect blood in the first place. On the colloquial tales of Nikolai Leskov. Zachary Tracer. In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start a company that was going to revolutionize healthcare. For political opponents of the “gay blood ban,” a three-month deferral period for MSM still represents an effective prohibition on gay blood; it precludes openly gay and bisexual men from visible participation in the civic practice of blood donation. Reasonable discussions about patient safety in the context of MSM donor policy are routinely impeded by ever-present HIV/AIDS moralizing that pits the “innocent” figure of the patient against the queer who “deserves” HIV/AIDS because of their deviant behaviors. Meet George Frodsham, who is a UK biochemist and has found out a way of removing disease-causing microbes from the blood by making use of magnets known as MediSieve technology. A blood bank is a place where blood obtained through blood donation is stored and preserved for later use. Theranos Limits Blood Technology to a Single Test Out of 200 By . The new policy would prohibit blood donations only from those who have had sex (anal or oral, with or without a condom) with another man in the past three months—a loosening of the twelve-month deferral period adopted in 2015—bringing U.S. policy in line with deferral criteria in the UK and Canada. At the start, her vision of banishing big, scary syringes and reimagining dated blood test technology is inspiring. Symbolic reforms have no bearing on or relation to the wider material, social and political conditions of disenfranchised queers and those most at-risk of transmittable disease. Observe how quickly and uncritically the abolition of MSM policy in Bolsonaro’s Brazil or Orbán’s Hungary has been applauded in the gay press—both states where conditions of the queers worst off (not cisgender, not white, not affluent) have worsened. Blood could be diagnosed easily without the need for many vials of blood drawn They lose out because the diagnosis has just taken too long—and not because of inaccuracy for the doctors. Hungary’s blood ban reform, for instance, arrived mere weeks after the right-wing government prepared to push through legislation that would put an end to the legal recognition of trans people. The main aim of DBBT course is to train students about blood bank technology and turn them into skilled blood bank technicians. The current bids for further reform to MSM donation policy, therefore, rely on a hygienist, “post-AIDS” vision of white, middle-class gay men—a will to politically distance themselves from the ongoing HIV/AIDS crisis via entrance into the national blood supply. Symbolically speaking, blood donation deferral criteria are regarded as delegitimizing the position of gay and bisexual men as healthy, health-bringing, and blood-bearing citizens proper, instead marking them out as perpetual and lurking figures of infection. “This story is a classic example of truth is more dramatic than fiction,” says Alex Gibney. Benjamin Weil is a PhD candidate at University College London in the Science and Technology Studies Department, where he researches blood donor activism in the UK. Yet popular opposition to the “gay blood ban” does nothing to challenge these punitive logics—it merely shifts their target. After all, gay marriage can end in gay divorce.). THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY shows that Holmes’ rise from visionary dreamer to self-made billionaire was a hall of mirrors, aided and facilitated by top diplomats and corporate titans who continued to believe in her, despite Theranos’ paranoid secrecy in guarding its purportedly revolutionary device. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts All BBI tests have a window period—the average point between infection and detection by a test, ranging from ten days in the case of nucleic acid tests for HIV, to thirty days in the case of testing for hepatitis B—during which donated blood bearing BBIs still presents a possible infection risk but would otherwise test negative.