Plymouth LGBT Pride Saturday 9th August 2014

Lifetime Ban on Gay and Bi Men Donating Blood lifted – but remains unequal

Regulations banning the donation of blood by men who have ever had gay sex will be lifted from today.

The Department of Health announced the changes in September, implementing a one-year deferral period instead, so that men who have had gay sex in the last 12 months may still not donate blood.

Lifetime ban on Gay and Bi men replaced by 12 month ban

The change comes into force in England, Wales and Scotland this week.

Gay rights campaigners said gay men would still be treated unfairly under the new rules implemented today, as heterosexuals engaged in higher risk sexual activity are not subject to the same restrictions.

Read the Full Article on PinkNews

Gay men who use a condom should not face delays giving blood

Although the new donor policy is a big improvement on the existing lifetime exclusion, a 12-month ban is still excessive

The government has announced that it is scrapping the blanket, lifetime ban on blood donations from men who’ve had oral or anal sex with other men. Bravo!

At last, after nearly three decades, health officials have realised that they got it wrong. The panic over HIV led them to maintain an irrational, unscientific policy which discriminated against gay and bisexual based on prejudiced, stereotypical assumptions. It also deprived the NHS and patients of much needed blood donations, regularly contributing to a shortfall in the blood supply.

The new policy stipulates that gay and bisexual men will be banned – not for life – but for 12 months from their last oral or anal sexual encounter with another man.

Although the new policy is a big improvement on the existing lifetime exclusion, a 12 month ban is still excessive and unjustified. Most gay and bisexual men do not have HIV and will never have HIV. If they always have safe sex with a condom, have only one partner and test HIV negative, their blood is safe to donate. They can and should be allowed to help save lives by becoming donors.

Read the full article by Peter Tatchell

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