Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blood Ban is to be Reviewed

Earlier this year the Scottish Liberal Democrats called for a review of the lifetime blood ban on gay and bisexual men.

When I spoke in favour of the motion I highlighted that the ban was on perception of risk rather than actual sexual practise. It appears that this reappraisal of 'risk' is something that the NHS will be looking at. HIV- gay and bisexual men who have not recently had unprotected sex may well find that they will be able to give blood. It would bring us into line with New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Japan and Australia all of whom have recently lifted similar lifetime bans, and some of whom we rely upon when there are national blood shortages.

Peter Tatchell welcomes the review saying:

"This review of the blanket, lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood is long overdue. The truth is that most gay and bisexual men do not have HIV and will never have HIV. Their blood is safe."

Of the current 7,734 new HIV cases a year (in 2007) 55% are in heterosexuals and 75% of these invections were picked up overseas.


Gareth Allen said...

This is great news and way overdue. Let's hope that England and Wales follow suit.

On a related note, I asked Nick Clegg about this issue at a public meeting in York last month, and he was unaware of the issue.

Stephen Glenn said...

Well Gareth the Scottish Party were actually following the Welsh one on this. The review is actually a UK wide one and not confined to Scotland.

As for Nick not being aware that is a bit of a shame as Lorely Burt ran a campaign about it a couple of years ago. But it is something that many heterosexuals are unaware of. Just one of those tick boxes they sail past on the way to giving their donation.

Sophia Pangloss said...

I wonder just how much blood has been lost because of this ignorant ban. I used to give like a maniac and was aiming for my gold clock when they slammed the door.

Don't know I'm inclined to return. Sad that.

wv vigor (what I used to have back then)


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