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Government to make announcement on gay blood donation

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  1. Jock S. Trap 16 Mar 2011, 4:18pm

    Lets hope for a positive outcome. In a time when blood is desperately needed this law is too outdated. Retrictions could be applied without being discriminating.

  2. John Suddes 16 Mar 2011, 4:20pm

    “But critics say the ban is homophobic and based on stereotypes.”

    It is very homophobic do they really think that only gay men contract HIV there will be many many hetrosexual donors that donate and have been at risk of HIV just as much if not more than many gay men. Also there is nothing to stop a gay man donating and not declaring that he is gay and I am sure the blood is screened in the first instanse anyway so if it was HIV positive then it would be picked up.

  3. martyn notman 16 Mar 2011, 4:42pm

    Oh lovely youre about to treat us to a lttle minor equality to hide the fact that youre a bunch of nut-job millionaires with no social conscience. No thanks love…

    1. de Villiers 17 Mar 2011, 12:09am

      I would prefer equality from the current government to no equality.

      It appears that your opposition to this measure of equality is due to a hatred of the Right. I believe the English phrase is about cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    2. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:08am

      Yeah, that’d be right. Lets not have any equality from this government eh, Martyn. You don’t want them to take away your right for a good whinge at anything. Though I doubt that would stop ya, somehow.

    3. i’m a staunch Labour supporter and member and I fully agree and commend this government. It’s trying to do right by us and I can’t fault that.

  4. paul millam 16 Mar 2011, 4:45pm

    the steriotype of people not being able to look after themselves, goes against a number of communities. this is what everyone needs to guard against. DOCTORS can easily pass on infections!

  5. Paul Kirwan 16 Mar 2011, 4:45pm

    If there was co-ordination behind this, it could offer another level of HIV screening for the population.

    There are many who are at risk of contracting HIV who give blood. I can’t believe that donated blood isn’t tested (I certainly hope that’s the case anyway).

    Getting people who are infected but not on treatment to engage with health services would help slow the progression of HIV.

    Open blood donation to all, screen the blood for diseases we can test for (including Diabetes, sickle-cell anaemia & Hep C) and use the National Blood Service as a positive force to improve the Nation’s health.

    Can’t see why not.

    Joined-up government. Don’t hold your breath though.

    1. Diabetes isn’t a blood-borne disease so I’m not sure why you mentioned that one?

      1. I don’t know the reasons, but I can assure you as a Type I diabetic, I am not allowed to give blood, apart from the fact I am also gay.

        1. Scanner, you aren’t allowed to donate because of what the loss of a pint UB such a short period will do to your blood sugar – not because of anything being “wrong” with your blood. Shame no one has ever bothered to give you an explanation.

          1. Sorry mate, Spanner. Can’t bleedin’ type.

          2. Isn’t the reason to do with immune bodies re Type 1 and any residual insulin that might be in the bloodstream?

        2. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:32am

          Didn’t know that about Type 1 diabetics, but being gay would have been enough to block you anyway.

      2. Paul Kirwan 17 Mar 2011, 9:32am

        I didn’t say Diabetes was a blood-borne disease. I said it was a disease we can test blood for.

        1. Yes, but not at a blood donation centre surely? If you’re talking about the ever-increasing Type 2 then pharmacies (aswell as GPs, of course) frequently offer free testing to spot undiagnosed Type 2 so testing by blood centres wouldn’t be necessary at all.

          Diabetes is a medical condition not a ‘disease’ anyway. The concerns of the blood testing centre must be on transmissable diseases. They can’t be expected to test for every condition one might have if those are unrelated to blood safety or the health of the donor (eg why they test for anaemia).

          1. Paul Kirwan 17 Mar 2011, 12:02pm

            That was the whole point of my comment. Why not use the Transfusion Service as a screening service? Surely this would save money (and possibly lives) in the long run.

            BTW, there is increasing evidence that diabetes can be triggered by infection.

          2. Thanks for clarifying your comment and I see, in theory, where you’re coming from, but I wouldn’t want the Blood Service to be overwhelmed with tests when they should be concentrating on their specific job. In my opinion, far better to allow pharmacies to offer tests than clog up the blood service with extra ‘chores’. I’d far rather they weren’t distracted from their important job.

            Moreover, diabetes can’t be diagnosed on one test alone so people would have to be referred to their GP anyway just as they are if they have a test at Boots or wherever.

            Ther’s plenty of things the blood service COULD test for – high cholesterol, for example – but I’m questioning if they SHOULD when other facilities are readily available to do such screening.

            As for saving money, I don’t know if it would or not (I suspect not), but it may delay the processing of critically needed blood supplies.

          3. And as for infection, that’s only a possibility for Type 1 diabetes, yes, not the far more prevalent Type 2?Other things are possibilities too, including cows’ milk. But (apologies if this isn’t why you mentioned infection) that still doesn’t make diabetes a disease. Type 1 diabetes is an inappropriate auto-immune response to some outside invader, be that infection, cows’ milk or something else.

            If this response was proved to be triggered by a virus, this is likely to be one of the common viruses that most people get WITHOUT triggering a destructive auto-immune response and diabetes. So the infection wouldn’t give you Type 1 diabetes, the mistaken response of your body would.

          4. I was diagnosed Type II diabetic about five years ago, mainly due to dietary problems, but since then the medication failed to work sufficiently and after collapsing and spending a week in hospital, I am now “officially” a Type I diabetic and have to take 4 injections a day.

            It is better to refer to the two categories as “Juvenile Diabetes” and “Late-Onset Diabetes”

          5. Sory to hear that, Spanner :(

            My sister has Type 1 diabetes and has had it for some years. I think the terms you used were changed because they weren’t wholly accurate – ie you can get ‘juvenile’ diabetes when you’re well into adulthood and ‘late-onset’ when you’re a child (usually if you have weight problems).

            Bad luck that you were misdiagnosed anyway. I hope you’re sorted now.

          6. Thanks Iris, but I wasn’t misdiagnosed.
            Type II is basically supporting a partially working pancreas by kicking it with drugs such as Metformin to produce more insulin. Type I is usually a hereditary problem.

            However, sometimes the pancreas can go from partially working to packing up completely, which is essentially what happened to me, so you go from Type II to Type I.

  6. I agree that it is unfair to ban just gay men based on their statistical evidence.
    Many others including some Asians and all Sub-Saharan Africans should also be banned.

    It is foolhardy in the extreme to allow this to go through. It is not homophobia, it is plain common sense. Gay men are a high risk group. FACT. It is not stereotyping, and you personally may not sleep around, but the statistics speak for themselves.

    You hopefully wouldn’t have unprotected sex with someone you didn’t know, so by the same token, why would you accept their blood?

    1. Actually if you review the trends you’ll see that heterosexual transmission is now outpacing homosexual transmission of HIV, and has done for a number of years.. Only only need look at http://www.avert.org/uk-transmission-route.htm to see this.

      What is distressing is that HIV infection rates are once again on the climb (particularly in the 17-25 age group), and anecdotal evidence indicates that it is a combination of lack of understanding about transmission methods and also a complacency that the drugs will “cure you”.

      1. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:13am

        Yep thats Very true.

        It doesn’t matter whatever way you put it the fact that more heterosexual people than homosexual people are getting HIV. You only have to see the levels of abortions and unwanted pregnancies to realises it isn’t just gay people that are have risky sex. We need to stop labelling who gets it, stop stereotyping and start treating it for the non-discrimniating illness it is.

      2. Yeah, but Dan…

        “Sex between men… …43%” from <10% of the population = gay men are still more HIV-toxic than any other group on average.

        And IMO one can thank H.A.A.R.T-complacency + anything-for-a-buck 'bare-back'-promoting gay porn industry bone-headery for the rise in HIV infection rates amongst today's young gay men.

        Someone should produce a before & after gay porn flick whose now-chronically unemployed and destitute, HIV pill-deprived & non-condom-wearing actors are mere months away from death. Then we'd see how 'sexy' bareback REALLY is(n't)!

        1. That equates to gay men being the equivalent to 470% against 43% in real terms. Also, one factor that report doesn’t cover is the ethnicity, and it’s interesting to note the similarities between gay vs straight and white vs black African.

          The heterosexual graph has peaked as the immigration increased over the last 10-15 years, and I would basically say that the majority of gay men are white, and the majority of heterosexuals (male and female) are Black African. (Note: NOT Caribbean) which goes in line with my comment on here regarding African “virginity”.

          I would strongly suggest that all Sub-Saharan Black people are also banned from donating blood for the same reasons as gay men.

        2. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:13am

          John

          Thats a ridiculous comment. People like Horror or Thriller films but can control themselves after by not going on a killing spree, why should gay porn be any different.

          Your going on the religious background of treating the LGBT like children who aren’t capable of thinking for ourselves.

          1. In a horror or thriller film when someone get killed or injured they don’t really get injured.

            With BB porn, there is a risk of the actors getting real life injures (HIV) …

    2. We probably agree that no-one has the right to give blood, that the safety of the blood bank is paramount and that we need to find new ways to acquire more blood (safely) given the historical and current shortages. 

      You’ve suggested that high risk groups are excluded, so along with gay men you suggest ‘many Asians and Sub-Saharan Africans should also be banned’.

      Interestingly, we can extend this argument to lots of ‘demographic groups’ and also ban people from London, Brighton, Bournemouth, Eastbourne, Manchester and Blackpool from giving blood, (which are historically the areas with the highest rates of infection)… or maybe we ban men in their early 20s…(again there are more infections in this category).  
      However, this is unhelpful as it excludes people that present no or little risk. It would be SAFER and allow MORE people to give blood if we considered the real risk factors – which isn’t whether i’m gay or straight or from London or Bath it’s whether i’m having safe safe sex.

      1. Clearly, if I’m only having safe sex with a condom I present no risk whatsoever to the bloodbank (but I’m still excluded from giving blood because I’m gay).  Conversely, if a straight man is having lots of unprotected sex he may present a risk to the bloodbank but he’s still allowed to give blood. No matter which way you put it this feels wrong and unnecessary. 

        To clarify, diagnosis rates are higher in ‘men who have sex with men’ and this is partly due to higher risk activities (as you note) but it’s also because this demographic are tested more frequency (which is worthy of note). Furthermore, HIV is not something only gay people should be concerned with as noted by Avert.org…:

        “A major component of the rapid increase over the past 15 years has been heterosexually acquired infection” Up until 1998, the highest number of new HIV infections were acquired through sex between men. However, since 1999 heterosexually acquired HIV has overtaken as the largest exposure category”.  

        1. By “Higher risk activities”, I assume you mean anal as opposed to vaginal sex? I think the stats may also indicate that many more straights indulge in this than before, and it may be a key factor.

          It is also worth noting that African men always want to marry virgins, so many girls will have unprotected anal sex instead, as this is considered “not losing one’s virginity”, and equally, African men consider condoms “unmanly” and refuse to use them.

          It’s doesn’t need Brain of Britain to figure out why Africa has such a high incidence of HIV/AIDS.

    3. “You hopefully wouldn’t have unprotected sex with someone you didn’t know, so by the same token, why would you accept their blood?”

      So then no one who ever accept anyones blood?

    4. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:34am

      Why would you accept their blood? Because by the time you are 63, as I am, my blood is as unlikely to have HIV in it as the donkey in the field next to you. I.e. not everyone who is gay is having sex all the time (or indeed in the last decade).

      1. Dan: Like I said, one can’t screen individuals for their lifestyles and sexual predilections, and I am sure there are many gay men that are quite safe, but equally, would you allow intravenous drug users to donate based on the same principle?

        One has to look at the law of averages, and stop picking out specific instances. You or I may not be sleeping around, but there have to be a lot of gay men around that do that make up the rest of the statistic.

        The way I see it is, how would you feel if say, a child receives infected blood? Are you willing to allow someone to contract a terminal disease just to appease your human rights? How selfish can some people be?

        1. Paul Kirwan 17 Mar 2011, 9:39am

          I’m pretty sure we can test all blood donated, we just don’t to save money & time.

          If we were prepared to change the approach, then children or anyone else wouldn’t get infected by things we can test for.

          1. You obviously havent had an HIV test, because they can only truly determine if you are HIV neg four to six months after the initial test, as it can take that long for the virus to incubate.

        2. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:26am

          Being that their are plenty of Gays/Lesbians who have committed relationships where there are no risks involved isn’t it selfish when blood is so desperately needed to deny those healthy and willing.

          Blood donations are screened thoroughly so the blood given are only given if safe to do so. In a way you insult those in that profession.

          To stereotype all the LGBT community is just as discriminating as not allowing us to give blood.

          We need to stop stereotyping esp when it comes to HIV anyway. For all those who wish to take away the fact that more heterosexual people are becoming newly infecting that homosexual, therefore giving reason to continue labelling HIV as a Gay disease, no progress can be made.

          We need to stop stereotyping a disease that doesn’t discriminate.

    5. Staircase2 17 Mar 2011, 5:51pm

      but it doesnt make any sense to talk about what risk levels there are for gay men versus other people. The issue is that ALL donated blood should be fully screened before it can be used. And that that screening should be 100% accurate.

      Otherwise ANYONE could contract HIV from ANY blood donor who is positive – regardless of their sexuality.

      If the Blood Service were to only be relying on a person’s sexuality as an indicator of HIV positivity then every single person who received donated blood would likely be positive by now!

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:28am

        Exactly Good point!

  7. Given that gay men are more likely to have been tested, it’s arguable that straight blood is more risky!

    1. It is still considered that over half the HIV+ gay men in UK are unaware they are infected.

    2. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:15am

      That is a far point actually George.

  8. Spanner: who’s most at risk:

    A man who has unprotected sex with several women over a few years, including in countries of high HIV occurrence; or

    A man who has had sex once in his life and this was “safe sex including a condom” and to avoid any doubt you’ve also been tested and shown to be HIV negative.

    All blood is tested for HIV – but only the “straight” man above can give blood – the guy who has safe sex using a condom is told by the NBS that he “should never give blood”. This is clearly irresponsible and sends out the wrong message.

    1. ** the example above should indicate that the man who had safe sex (with a condom) was WITH ANOTHER MAN.

      1. Precisely. Anal sex is considerably more risky than vaginal sex. That is why gay men are more prone to contracting it.

        “All blood is tested”, but the tests are not infallible, and eliminating high risk groups IS PART of the screening process.

        I think it is highly responsible. You can whinge all you like about persecution, but the bottom line is that gay men are one of the highest risk groups, and have been for 30+ years. When the statistics show otherwise, then the decision can be reconsidered.

        All these people that moan about individuals still refuse to accept that it is the demographic as a whole that is considered, not the fact you happen to be a gay man living with your partner for 20 years.

        1. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:38am

          Following your logic about the demographic, would you suggest stop and searching all black 16-24 year olds on the basis they are the most likely – on the demographic – to be carrying knives? Reasonable grounds? Not good enough!

          1. I totally agree. Check the lot. If the demographic states that, then the liklihood of finding a blade is higher. Or would you rather just search little old ladies just to appease the PC left?

            The trouble is, political correctness won’t allow it because they are seen as being unduly picked on.

            If I’m putting money on a horse, I go for the most likely option.

          2. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:35am

            You should know Dan there was a rise in new HIV diagnoses in people 50 and over as what was report in July last year.

        2. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:17am

          And yet, I know you hate this but last year 54% of all new HIV infections were heterosexual. There’s no getting away from it.

          The problem is people still stereotype and label it a ‘Gay disease’ even in 2011 ignoring the true fact that unlike many HIV doesn’t discriminate.

          The message needs to be projected that this affects Everyone of every age.

          1. I would like to see your verification of that information.
            I suspect even if it is true, the majority of cases were immigrants or people that contracted it outside the UK.

          2. We have been through this before. 54% are straight, so that means 46% are gay, and as gay men conservatively make up 10% of the population, that shows 54% vs 460% in real terms. It isnt a stereotype, it’s a FACT.

            Much that people don’t like the term “Gay Disease”, in this country that’s precisely what it is. HIV discriminates between vaginal and anal sex. Stop trying to put ‘spin’ on the facts to deflect it away from gay people. It’s our problem and we need to face up to it.

          3. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:30am

            As long as we continue to label it a Gay disease we can not expect rates to drop.

          4. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:37am

            As long as we keep Labelling HIV with any group we take away the seriousness of HIV.

        3. Staircase2 17 Mar 2011, 5:53pm

          If thats true (and to be honest I doubt that it is) then all people who donate could be given an HIV test beforehand – it takes 20 minutes to receive a result now so could be part of the process of donation.

          1. Jock S. Trap 18 Mar 2011, 10:44am

            But shouldn’t that already be? If that blood is going to someone else they should check for all possible contaminates. That way it wouldn’t be classed as discriminating is everyone was screened.

  9. ….it’s people’s sexual behaviour that’s important not their sexuality. I know lots of straight guys who are very promiscuous and present a risk to themselves and would not be ideal candidates to give blood (but would still be allowed to). I also know gay guys who are monogomous and HIV negative (gay men tend to test themselves more frequently) – yet they can’t give blood.

    This is ridiculous, its been the case for years and urgently needs to change.

    1. So why is it all these promiscuous straights are not infected, but all the gay ones are? Gay men are at least four times as likely to catch HIV than straights having sex in the UK.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YGeU2nHmk9U/S4m7llY_2-I/AAAAAAAAD60/g3DGbaqAs6g/s400/UK+HIV+stats,+color+graphic.jpg

    2. “….it’s people’s sexual behaviour that’s important not their sexuality”

      Absolutely.

      1. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:39am

        Concur – and that’s succinctly put.

  10. “Jock S. Trap 2 hours ago Report Reply

    Lets hope for a positive outcome. In a time when blood is desperately needed this law is too outdated. Retrictions could be applied without being discriminating”.

    Rather like Gay Pride being outdated.
    Maybe they will do a deal, stop forcig your lifestyle on the rest of the public and we’ll allow you to give blood. Sounds Fair to me.

    1. Lifestyle? We were born that way Mary, and the sooner knuckleheads like yourself come to terms with that fact, the sooner we will be able to get on with our lives and stop bothering obnoxious biddies like you.

    2. Mary, I’ve always been happy with the ban. I wouldn’t give you my diarrhoea.

    3. Lifestyle? What lifestyle is this, Mary? Or do you think heterosexuality is a lifestyle too??

      1. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:22am

        Is it a magazine?

    4. Mary for someone who doesn’t like a lifestyle being “forced” upon you, why do you chose to read a very obviously LGBT publication like Pinknews?

      1. People, ignore Mary. She is a loon and the more you respond to her, the more likely she is to post here. They’ve obviously barred her from posting comments on the Daily Mail website and she needs a new hobby…

        1. Walking in the presence of gtains here. Cool thinking all around!

    5. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:22am

      Oh Mary, you sad little discriminating person.

      Here’s another deal Hypocrite, We stop Pride when Bigots like you stop forcing us to be second class citizens, we are human beings after all. I have to say with idiots like you though it’s inlikely Prides will ever stop.

      Grow Up and get an education. What are you 12?

    6. Staircase2 17 Mar 2011, 5:57pm

      lol
      ‘forcing’……….?

      this board has a tendency to be idiotic but thats even more idiotic than Jack McIdiot’s long lost cousin Idiot McIdiot son of Supremely Idiotic McIdiot of the Idiotic clan of Idiot.

  11. So do you mean that the Government will make an announcement in the near future, or that when it does, it will be about gay men giving blood in the near future?

    1. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:41am

      Clearly it will be about gay men giving blood, but what the announcement will be .. who knows. I doubt they would leak a no change announcement.

  12. Do they allow muslims to donate blood?

    1. Not gay ones. ;)

  13. Holy Mary, Mother of God! What a particularly stupid woman Mary is. We can do without the uneducated, ignorant bigoted Marys of this world commenting on things that they are too stupid to
    understand!

  14. Of course they do, it’s just ‘queers’ who are treated like second class citizens in the UK.

  15. well try this…I can’t give blood in Spain…not because I’m gay….becasue I’m British and consumed BEEF in the 1990s! Fear of BSE.

  16. Mary….I have a friend called Mary. He lives in London.

  17. Don’t know much about blood donation but would have hoped that all blood from whoever was donating had somekind of test on it first before it was used. How could you guarantee any blood from any person was safe with a test? Anybody could have countless things passed in their blood…if tests are carried out then can’t understand why this ban should continue, it’s just plain stupid, wouldn’t benefit anyone!

  18. Christians are infiltrating gay groups and gay bars getitng names numbers and cell pictures to add to their Christian gay bash list.

  19. Can they not restrict donors to those over 75. They would enjoy a nice cup of tea and biscuit afterwards and it would be a day out for them.

    1. Dan Filson 17 Mar 2011, 1:43am

      Those biscuits were so dull in my day it was hardly worth it! And the tea was only to stop you rushing off and fainting in the street.

      1. Jock S. Trap 17 Mar 2011, 9:24am

        Yep, nothing like a chocolate HobNob.

  20. One aspect that rarely gets commented on is that even oral sex with another man is enough to get you banned, even though that is a minimal risk factor (and safer than unprotected vaginal sex).

    1. Agreed, but not impossible. I know a gay man who contracted it via oral sex.

    2. “One aspect that rarely gets commented on is that even oral sex with another man is enough to get you banned,..”

      Then perhaps one should see that off before arriving at the clinic.

  21. I find it ridiculous that at least a dozen of my straight schoolmates who had teen-aged sex with me more than 40 years ago as their only same-sex experiences are in theory not allowed to give blood – ever.

    I find it equally silly that as a gay man who went more than 20 years (1989-2010) without having sex, there should not have been some point at which it was decided I presented a very low risk.

    I’m quite happy not to give blood at present – I’m in a (sero-discordant) relationship with an HIV guy, and there’s no such thing as 100% safe sex.

    But the indiscriminate nature of banning any guy who at any point in their life has had sex with another guy is – to me – clearly based on prejudice rather than any sensible risk minimisation strategy.

    1. Agree. The facts remain: if you are in a monogamous relationship and your HIV negative and you practice safe sex you can’t give blood – but if you are in a high risk category having unsafe sex with lots of people without condoms (as long as they are straight) you can give blood!!! This has to be wrong, it sends out the wrong message and is not the best way to secure blood (when the need is so urgent).

  22. I think it is very unfair to exclude responsible gay men from donating blood. Heterosexual married men are the most likely group to sleep with a prositute without a condom. Maybe we should ban married men from donating incase they lie on their questionnaire.

    I don’t know how it works in England but in Ireland every donation is tested for HIV 1&2, hepatitus B&C, HTLV 1&2 and syphilus.

    1. I think the key word here is “responsible”. The point is, how does one distinguish that? HIV can take up to four months to show after infection, so it is possible to miss it even with tests. Part of the screening process is eliminating high risk groups such as men who have sex with men and intravenous drug users, along with various other people with chronic illnesses etc.

      The bottom line, if eliminating gay men from the list saves even one person from accidentally contracting HIV, then it’s purpose is totally justified.

      Conventional heterosexual sex is far less risky than gay sex, that is a simple fact, and people can accuse others of stereotyping, homophobia and segregation, but it still doesn’t nullify the plain truth of the matter.

      1. Staircase2 17 Mar 2011, 6:02pm

        yeah but as loads of people have pointed out and youve refused to acknowledge IT DOESNT MATTER

        Risk statistics are just that – statistics – they are not a good basis upon which to be making clinical decisions.

      2. Sure, that was all true in the 20th century. Technology has moved on a lot, but policy has yet to move with it.

        More recipients die of aged blood than would die of a supposed increase in bad blood units if gay men were allowed to donate.

        Read it all here: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-people-are-dying-because-gay-men-cant-give-blood-959316.html

        As the author puts it “One HIV-positive blood donation will slip through every 5,769 years.”

        I dunno about you, but I’d rather be alive with HIV than dead, if those were the options.

  23. I believe the solution is to ask more personal questions. We cannot pander around privacy at the risk of blood recipients.

    Questions should include:
    * How many partners have you had in the last year?

    * Do you have reason to believe that any of them could be infected with HIV?

    * Did you use a condom? Always?

    * When did you last have an STI checkup? What were the results?

    If you don’t want to answer, you don’t get to donate. Simples!

    About 1% of the gay male population of the UK have HIV. About 0.1% of the non-gay-male population of the UK have HIV. Make of that statistic what you will, but don’t forget other groups have similar rates.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/medical_notes/275773.stm
    “In most countries all the blood used for transfusions is now tested for HIV. In those countries where the blood has been tested, infection through a blood transfusion is now extremely rare.”

    The ban is outdated.

    1. And what stops people lying? It has been stated already on these boards by people admitting to it. Would you have unsafe sex with someone simply because he told you he was HIV neg?

      1. And what stops people from lying now?

        IMO, it makes more sense to ask people about the way they have sex, rather than what sexuality they are. At the moment, a straight man who has had sex with 100 woman, never having used a condom nor had a check – he can donate, but a gay man who has had only 1 or 2 men with a condom cannot. What is the logic in that? Clearly in this situation the man who uses a condom and doesn’t slut himself out is less of a risk.

        1. Nothing stops them lying. That’s why gay men are banned.
          I wish people would stop throwing these straw man argumanets around every time gay men are singled out “yeah, well str8’s do it too…” Gay men are a proven high risk category. That does not mean str8’s are more promiscuous, or gays are, but simply there is a higher incidence of gay men contracting it on average, so they base their decisions upon that overall fact.

          Sure, if you want to lie and say you are straight, or even claim you are HIV- when you are not, you could walk in and donate, but you would be highly foolish and irresponsible.

          Half the infected gay men don’t even know their status, and sample testing is not infallible, so there is a risk it could get through. As I sated earlier, are you willing to risk an innocent person contracting a terminal disease simply to appease your gay rights? If you do, you are even more selfish and egotistical than I imagined.

          1. What I meant is: Gay men can lie about being gay. There is nothing you can do about the lying whatever questions you ask; but people are less likely to lie if you ask them sensible questions. Moreover, the NHS is being negligent in its duty to protect recipients by not asking everyone, regardless of sexuality, about their sexual habits; such questions which could determine their suitability to donate blood.

            Obviously you didn’t read my other reply to you: More recipients die of aged blood than would die of a supposed increase in bad blood units if gay men were allowed to donate. Read it all here: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-people-are-dying-because-gay-men-cant-give-blood-959316.html

            CONT….

          2. These aren’t straw man arguments made by gay men. They’re arguments based on rationality and evidence:
            1. The chance of a bad batch getting through the screening is extremely slim. It’s so slim it would happen once in about 5000 years.

            2. Where did you get this “half of gay men” figure from? About a quarter of all people, regardless of sexuality, don’t know they’re infected. It has nothing to do with being gay.

            3. In the extremely rare event that a bad batch does get through and someone ends up infected with HIV – At least they wouldn’t be dead from old blood or lack of blood supplies. Let’s not forget that a straight person can also carry HIV, and this bad batch has a relatively comparable chance of coming from a straight or gay man in the grand scheme of blood donations.

            The current policy is outdated, discriminatory and resulting in more deaths than it saves. Technology has moved on, but policy has not caught up, and neither have you. Know your facts before opening your mouth.

          3. P.S. So we can work around the general population for lying, but when it comes to the gays lying, they suddenly bare a moral responsibility not to lie which we can trust? I didn’t realise the NHS view gay people to have a higher moral integrity than the general populous

          4. P.S.S. And Spanner, whilst we’re on the subject of risky sex: Don’t you make the same mistake as your mother, use a condomn

          5. Firstly, the information was on here. THT reposrts similar findings in the UK.
            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/09/27/almost-half-of-hiv-positive-gay-men-unaware-us-study-says

            Your article in the Independent refers to Australia, not UK.
            The NHS states:
            “There has been a safe and sufficient blood supply in this country for many years, although the rate of blood donations is subject to fluctuations. This is when we make particular efforts to ask the public – particularly those with rare blood groups – to give blood.

            The safety of the blood supply is paramount; the exclusion of men who have sex with men from giving blood is in place to protect patient safety.”

            http://www.blood.co.uk/can-i-give-blood/exclusion

            The reason the government is reconsidering is because an 18 month report by the NHS Blood Service is about to be published outlining their findings, and whether any changes need to be made.

            Oh, and I never use a condom.
            Why? Because I don’t have sex. :)

  24. I think im right in saying that to test the blood supply they put the blood into groups then use a RNA test which can detect HIV and hepatitis 1 week after infection.

    So it is possible to quite effectively test the blood supply.

    Nonetheless i am still unsure as too what to think on this issue.

  25. I find it shocking that this ban is still in place when we have gay adoption, civil partnerships and so on, I really do. All of the blood is checked for STDs anyway as a precaution so I just don’t understand it. Ridiculous. I hope this is changed soon. Whenever I donate blood I always cringe at the question about gay male sex on the form.

  26. To be fair, having sat on every side of the fence possible when it comes to gender and sexuality.
    Gay men are by FAR the most clued up when it comes to safer sex and looking after ourselves and those we have sex with.

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