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Chair of Pride London calls gay blood ban ‘prejudiced and homophobic’

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  1. Simon Murphy 19 Jun 2009, 2:53pm

    People from sub-Saharan Africa are at equal (or greater) risk of HIV infection as gay men. There is no lifelong ban on donating blood for someone who has ever had sex with a person from Sub-Saharan Africa. There is only a 1 year ban. Why is that?

    I mean if the National Blood Service expects to be taken seriously when it denies applying homophobic double standards to high risk groups then they should be applying the same standards.

    Most disturbing of all is the fact that the Terrence Higgins Trust supports this homophobic policy.

    I have tested negative and only ever have safe sex. Why am I prevented from donating blood?

  2. Simon: I agree it is true there other risk groups that ought to be checked more thoroughly. What is one mans statistic is another mans stereotype. Gay men are a high risk group, so one has to take precautions accordingly. Equally, Africans are now also a high risk group and should be put into the same category. Just because one group’s risk category increases does not necessarily mean another should decrease proportionately.

    As for “safe sex” PLEASE use the correct terminology. It is *safer* sex. The only safe sex is having a wank.

  3. Colm Howard-Lloyd 19 Jun 2009, 4:42pm

    The Christian Institute are welcome the support of THT in retaining the ban. Oh dear.

  4. The ban on sex in Africa is one year from sex. Since Gay people will continue, the ban has to be for the lenght of time that sex is had.

  5. Homosexuals have the highest rate of various sexual diseases and especially HIV. I am sorry to say but they carry very high risk and the ban MUST stay!

  6. As a delegate to the last few TUC LGBT conferences I have followed the debate on gay men (or more correctly, any man who has sex with another man) being denied the opportunity to give blood. The TUC policy decided last year is that this ban, in its present form, is unjust.

    There is an inconsistency between the treatment of MSM’s and other “at risk” groups. A man who has sex with a female prostitute is only denied giving blood for a year. A man in a monogamous straight relationship is not questioned as to whether his female partner provides him with fellatio or anal intercourse, the two acts which deem MSM’s unfit to donate.

    Certainly anyone who is promiscuous and careless about their sexual health should think carefully about giving blood, be they male or female, gay or straight. However there is no valid reason why a gay man, who is HIV-, in good health and in a monogamous long-term relationship, should be prevented from giving blood. It is time the Blood Service introduced more inclusive policies.

  7. Monkeychops 20 Jun 2009, 11:57am

    The Terrance Higgins Trust gave an interesting perspective on why they support the ban. Not only did they say why they condoned it, but they also quite fairly stated that the NBS could go further to explain itself:

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-9735.html

    Peronsally, I am all in favour of the ban staying – this is an example of where practical thinking and risk-management have to come above equality, simply because the situation for gay men isn’t equal or balanced in comaparison to other groups. Why are gay men associated with HIV/AIDS, everyone wonders? It’s pretty simple. It affected us first because of our irresponsible promiscuity. You learn from your mistakes right? Now we understand how it is transmitted, then we behave accordingly, right? Wrong. It still affects us – for exactly the same reasons, selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

    Sub-saharan africans, the most at risk, have such high rates due to a mixture of elements. Lack of education, religious beliefs dictating sexual practices, men refusing to wear condoms and then being adulterous meaning they infect their wives, irrational beliefs about how HIV may be acquired and even more irrational beliefs about how it may be cured (having sex with a virgin being one of them).

    So why are gay men, especially here in the West, still in the high-risk category? AIDS awareness campaigns are ubiquitous in the gay press, the red ribbon is as much a symbol of the gay movement and its issues as the rainbow flag. Sex education at school promotes awareness too. We all know something about it, especially the main point that you need to pop a johnny on. There can only be one logical reason…..gay men are just too irresponsible, which is being proved again and again by the high-risk category being our home year on year. They have no right to be involved in giving blood, which necessitates low-risk of infections. It’s playing with people’s lives – and lives outside of our community. No-one should be affected by our behaviour.

    So, we could give Mr Tatchell his right to give blood and be all politically correct. But isn’t that as bad as saying we should let convicted terrorists purchase semtex? As soon as rates go up, we’ll get the blame.

    As a community, we HAVR GOT to start facing our responsibilities to ourselves and to those whom our behaviour may affect or we will just continue to face this inequality……

  8. Monkeychops 20 Jun 2009, 12:34pm

    The Terrance Higgins Trust gave an interesting perspective on why they support the ban. Not only did they say why they condoned it, but they also quite fairly stated that the NBS could go further to explain itself:

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-9735.html

    Peronsally, I am all in favour of the ban staying – this is an example of where practical thinking and risk-management have to come above equality, simply because the situation for gay men isn’t equal or balanced in comaparison to other groups. Why are gay men associated with HIV/AIDS, everyone wonders? It’s pretty simple. It affected us first because of our irresponsible promiscuity. You learn from your mistakes right? Now we understand how it is transmitted, then we behave accordingly, right? Wrong. It still affects us – for exactly the same reasons, selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

    Sub-saharan africans, the most at risk, have such high rates due to a mixture of elements. Lack of education, religious beliefs dictating sexual practices, men refusing to wear condoms and then being adulterous meaning they infect their wives, irrational beliefs about how HIV may be acquired and even more irrational beliefs about how it may be cured (having sex with a virgin being one of them).

    So why are gay men, especially here in the West, still in the high-risk category? AIDS awareness campaigns are ubiquitous in the gay press, the red ribbon is as much a symbol of the gay movement and its issues as the rainbow flag. Sex education at school promotes awareness too. We all know something about it, especially the main point that you need to pop a johnny on. There can only be one logical reason…..gay men are just too irresponsible, which is being proved again and again by the high-risk category being our home year on year. They have no right to be involved in giving blood, which necessitates low-risk of infections. It’s playing with people’s lives – and lives outside of our community. No-one should be affected by our behaviour.

    So, we could give Mr Tatchell his right to give blood and be all politically correct. But isn’t that as bad as saying we should let convicted terrorists purchase semtex? As soon as rates go up, we’ll get the blame.

    As a community, we HAVE GOT to start facing our responsibilities to ourselves and to those whom our behaviour may affect or we will just continue to face this inequality. And who wants that?

  9. Brian Burton 20 Jun 2009, 1:32pm

    Athur Ash, a Wimbolden tennis star died young, from receiving HIV infected blood. At the time, HIV/Aids was called the ‘Gay Disease’ That label, I hasten to add, was born out of pure ignorance on the part of the Media Mafia. My point is, even one pint of infected blood is one pint too many. So, I feel it is right to ban the few at the price of the many. A person, Gay or streight, should never offer their blood in a cavalier fashion. Personally, I had Hepititis 40 years ago and this still precludes me from giving blood because the Hepititis remains in the blood till you die.

  10. Simon Murphy 21 Jun 2009, 1:49am

    No 7: Brian Burton: you say:
    “Athur Ash, a Wimbolden tennis star died young, from receiving HIV infected blood.”

    Um. That’s what he said. He may have been lying. A gay male is no bigger risk for HIV infected blood donations than an African. There is no life ban on donations from African people or those who have ever had sex with them. That’s a nasty double standard.

  11. Anyone who screams that the ban is based on either prejudice or homophobia is devoid of a single ounce of common-sense .. all of which is something we have grown to expect from the activists in our community.

  12. Brian Burton 21 Jun 2009, 5:03pm

    Simon Murphy,

    Sorry Simon, Ash has an ‘e’ on the end Arthur Ashe. American Tennis player and a good one. His life was cut short by the blood-transfusion he received from a batch of HIV infected Blood at the time. There were other victims of this particular batch of blood too.

  13. Brian Burton 22 Jun 2009, 9:52am

    P.S. Ashe beat Jimmy Conners in the 1975 Wimbldon season and took the Trophy. Ashe died in 1993.

  14. “Um. That’s what he said. He may have been lying. A gay male is no bigger risk for HIV infected blood donations than an African. There is no life ban on donations from African people or those who have ever had sex with them. That’s a nasty double standard”

    Agreed.

    Therefore BOTH should have the ban on them or none atall.

    It’s common sense to ban the two most high-risk groups.

  15. P.S

    I mean in the sense that they can’t victimise one high-risk group and not the other. It’s wrong.

  16. Michael★ 6 Jul 2009, 9:42am

    Read the science. HIV tests are NOT 100% accurate. Nor will they ever be. You want to run the risk of contracting HIV (through micro contamination of blood) if you need a transfusion one day?

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