Should healthy gay men be allowed to give blood?

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Should healthy gay men be allowed to give blood?

Postby GaySurrey » Thu May 22, 2008 11:25 pm

The UK is currently dangerously low in its stocks of blood.
Therefore the NHS spends lots of taxpayers money on advertising and marketing costs in order to increase donor levels.
However, if the NHS changed one simple rule, they could potentially have several million extra donors eligible to give blood immediately.

How? Allow healthy gay men to give blood.

The UK law is outdated, stereotypical and discriminatory towards healthy gay men.
More than that, it is risking lives - the UK urgently needs more blood.

A straight man who has unprotected sex with a different girl every weekend can give blood TODAY

A straight man who has had unprotected sex with a prostitute can give blood after just 1 year
Those who have had unprotected sex with an intravenous drug user can give blood after 1 year
Those who have had unprotected sex abroad in a high risk HIV country can give blood after 1 year

Gay men are banned FOR LIFE, even if they've only ever had sex with one partner - and even if they used protection.

Do you think this is right let us know! post your reply or Sign the petition

For further info click: http://www.gaysurrey.org/bloodban.htm
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Re: Should healthy gay men be allowed to give blood?

Postby Luke » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:39 pm

While at Sheffield uni, we ran a campaign on this, and I do think that the rules are pretty ridiculous against gay men giving blood.
The contrasts you have listed are clearly illogical and based on stereotypes and prejudice.

Their line is that sex between gay men is more risky - i.e. transmission of STIs will happen more easily - and that whilst they do test all the blood they get, cutting out gay men from their donors will reduce the possibility of infected blood getting missed and slipping through. But the idea of disallowing men who have only ever had ORAL sex (even WITH a condom), but allowing all the other above groups you listed, is clearly unjustifiable.

If man A sleeps with man B, he can never ever give blood.
If woman A later sleeps with man B (who slept with man A), she can give blood after 1 year. So despite both man A and woman A sleeping with the same bi guy, only the woman can give blood in her lifetime - even if they had the same kind of sex, and thus the same risk levels.
That is why the rules are unfoundedly discriminatory. (If that makes sense!)

As an endnote, the response we got from the blood service, was that if a gay man REALLY wants to give blood, they could just lie on the form if they know they are clean (i.e. if he's been tested recently). But that's kinda beside the point really, because they are a well-respected organisation and are clearly transmitting a very negative message about gay men to anyone who fills in their forms.

Good luck on the ongoing campaigning!
Luke
 
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