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Author Topic: UK gay blood donation ban to be reviewed  (Read 835 times)

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Offline Ann

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UK gay blood donation ban to be reviewed
« on: January 11, 2010, 10:40:43 AM »
From the December 2009 edition of the UK magazine Positive Nation:

Gay blood ban to finally be reviewed

A review of blood donation policy in the UK will be carried out following the publication of new research.

The new research will be carried out by the independent Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, which advises the government on issues of blood safety.

It will include data on the frequency of infections found by the National Blood Service when testing blood donations and collecting information as to how donors probably became infected.

The review has been strongly called for by groups such as Stonewall and NAT. A Stonewall spokesperson was recently quoted as saying on the topic: “As it stands, a heterosexual person who has consistently put themselves at risk of exposure to HIV is not given the same lifetime ban as that of a gay man, who has had protected sex just once.”

The majority of the research will be presented to the Advisory Committee this summer.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT commented on the announcement: “NAT were the first to call for a comprehensive review of the lifelong bans and we are pleased that the National Blood Service has acted swiftly to meet our concerns. NAT is not convinced by the justification put forward for the current lifetime ban for men who have ever had sex with another man and anyone who has ever injected drugs or ever received payment in money or drugs for sex; particularly in the light of improved testing technologies. We welcome the National Blood Service’s decision to review these restrictions.”

Similar blanket bans have been abolished in South Africa, Spain and Italy.

I hope they abolish this ban - I've long thought it was pretty damned stupid. Instead of asking blood donors who they fuck, they should be asking how  they fuck. In other words, are they using condoms or not? Do they test for hiv and hepatitis regularly? Questions of that nature instead of who you have sex with. It's just another thing that reinforces the popular misconception of gay=hiv instead of human=hiv. It's pissed me off for a long time now.

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