A gay man in Canada is suing the the country’s blood services for barring him from donating blood.
Kyle Freeman admitted in court this week that he had lied about his sexual history in order to undergo the procedure, which he believes is the “ultimate gift” a person can give.
Canadian Blood Services imposes a lifetime ban on men donating blood if they have ever had sex with another man.
Freeman, 36, argued that he wasn’t a risky donor because he had regular HIV tests and did not have unprotected anal sex unless with a long-term partner who had also been tested.
However, tests revealed his blood was actually infected with the sexually-transmitted disease syphilis.
Freeman was sued by Canadian Blood Services for negligent misrepresentation but is now counter-suing, claiming that the ban is scientifically unjustified and unconstitutional.
According to the Edmonton Sun, he told the Ontario court yesterday: “My father was a blood donor – we were always taught that’s the ultimate way to help people. It’s the ultimate gift you can give someone.
“I felt my risk was non-existent,” he said. “I don’t believe I participated in high-risk activities, because I used a condom and got tested.”
“I wanted the blood to be used. I knew that if I would have answered yes I would have been excluded from having my blood used. Once they found out I was in a same-sex relationship I would not be able to donate blood anymore.”
Canadian Blood Services argues that the ban is necessary because men who have sex with men are simply more likely to be infected with HIV.
Although blood is screened for HIV and other diseases before being given to patients, blood ban advocates argue that as tests cannot pick up the infection in the first three months since transmission, those who have had sex with another man must be screened out.
Many countries, including the UK, bar gay men from giving blood.