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Petition calls for end of gay blood donation ban

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  1. Jack Holroyde 5 Aug 2011, 3:34pm

    That picture is of an insulin needle. Good luck trying to get blood out using that!

    1. Spanner1960 6 Aug 2011, 12:07pm

      I don’t think it is actually, the needle looks too long and thick. As a type I diabetic I know them intimately. That said, they don’t use hypodermic plungers for blood tests or donations anyway.

  2. Dan Filson 5 Aug 2011, 5:08pm

    It’s a well-worded and temperate petition, and I’ve signed. The current ban has no valid scientific basis and is not sufficiently analytical of the key risk groups. At age 63, I’m scarcely one of the key risk groups!

  3. Louis Waters 5 Aug 2011, 5:33pm

    The current ban is from an era when people did not have much knowledge about HIV let alone the disease regarding MSM etc. This petition could be the start of a new law which would not discriminate against the lgbt community.

    1. Spanner1960 6 Aug 2011, 12:10pm

      Like people are now enlightened? Don’t be so naive. Do you seriously think people want terminal diseases, yet they still continue to get infected at an alarming rate.
      .
      The law discriminates because it needs to. LGBT people are a high risk category whether you like it or not, and if it saves just one person being infected through a blood donation rather than appease your right-on gay rights sentiments, then so be it.

      1. you are basing this on the same opinions as the blanket ban. of course MSMs are a high risk group, no-one with any sense would deny this or suggest lifting the ban indiscriminately. however, the current ban does not take into account the many gay men in long term relationships, bisexual men who may have had homosexual encounters many years ago, men who only have oral sex with other men who are at a significantly lower risk than many of the groups who are not subject to such a ban. the scientific fact is that there is only a significant chance of the tests giving a false negative within three to six months of infection. a lifetime ban is reactionary and does not consider this scientific basis.

        1. I’m pretty sure the that in Australia the Question reads “Have you had Male to Male sex in the past 12 months?” So the deferal is based purely on a behaviour rather than a sexual orientation. As for the arguement of men in a long term relationship, that can not be taken into account. While the person donating can sign a declaration that says “I’ve had only one sexual partner for X years”, it does not mean that their partner has had only one.

      2. Jock S. Trap 7 Aug 2011, 11:45am

        Yet in countries that have removed the ban the numbers of infection through blood donations have reduced.

        Truth is people are being infected, have been infected but what you are saying that is that it’s only worthy of keeping the ban so people don’t get infected by Gay blood. How discriminating is that?

        Why are people getting infected now when the ban is in place? Clearly something is wrong. Not properly screening prehaps?

        Too many people out their who should be given the chance to given blood whether Gay or Straight and plenty of people Gay or Straight who shouldn’t be.

        However as I have said the fact remains that in countries that have dropped the ban the numbers of blood donation infections has dropped.

        1. Spanner1960 7 Aug 2011, 5:54pm

          Jock S. Trap: “Yet in countries that have removed the ban the numbers of infection through blood donations have reduced.”
          citation needed
          Sorry, I think that’s bollocks. If gay men were no risk whatsoever, that still wouldn’t reduce the number of infections.

          1. Jock S. Trap 8 Aug 2011, 8:53am

            Or prehaps it was due to much better screening…

            Both Italy and Spain have recorded a reduction, year after year on infections due to blood donations, practially down to 1 or 2 from 12 upwards before they removed the ban.

            Truth is, with proper screening of both blood and patients whether Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi to allow those that should and not allow all those that shouldn’t, we would have a much more healthier blood stock without the fear of running low.

            Now the next thing to campaign for is to allow HIV patients to donate organs for the use of other HIV patients and help free up the waiting list.

          2. Spanner1960 9 Aug 2011, 8:12pm

            The whole point is eliminating high risk groups from donation *IS* part of the screening process.
            It is impossible to currently state if blood is safe because it has to be used within 7-10 days and it can take up to two months for the HIV virus to be propagate. Either you take the risk beforehand, or you wait long enough to know for sure, by which time the blood is useless.

          3. Jock S. Trap 10 Aug 2011, 9:08am

            Well, I guess it’s easier to ignore the facts for people like you even though those facts save lives, well they clearly do in countries like Italy and Spain.

  4. DO NOT REMOVE THIS BAN! There are serious practical reasons for keeping it!

    We must have some sense of responsibility, after all.

    1. Jock S. Trap 7 Aug 2011, 11:46am

      The ban is discriminatory, it should be removed. People’s lives depend on it.

      1. Spanner1960 7 Aug 2011, 5:55pm

        The ban is discriminatory. It is also common sense. We have no shortage of blood in the UK, but obviously still have a desperate need for brains.

        1. Jock S. Trap 8 Aug 2011, 9:00am

          How is it common sense to have a Gay couple who have no other partners not to be allowed to give bloods?

          How is it common sense for a Straight man to have upteen partners over a few days yet is perfectly fine to give blood?

          There is a blood shortage and frequently is, esp of certainly blood groups, so it makes absolutely no sense that people who should be able to give blood are excluded.

          Common sense would mean fairness in who gives and who is excluded.

          1. Spanner1960 8 Aug 2011, 10:47am

            Whoever said life was fair? The point is, gay men are a high risk *group*. That means restrictions are also applied as a group, whether or not certain individuals within that group apply to that criteria. There is NO blood shortage, and this is simply a bunch of queens throwing a hissy-fit because they feel they are being treated unfairly. The screening process is not foolproof, and I am sure nobody would want a child contracting HIV just so you can feel equal.
            http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/current_issues/mhsm100408_faq.html

          2. Jock S. Trap 8 Aug 2011, 3:12pm

            They already are Spanner and thats with a ban so your argument is seriously flawed.

            If other countries have better screening and a reduction in infection after the ban was dropped then it shows your kind of devisive discrimination is satisfying poor judgement and the ability to geniunely save peoples lifes.

            And for your info they are frequently short of certian rare blood groups… I should know, I’m told it often enough. Thank you.

            If your life is so reckless then far enough but don’t brand all by your low standards, I know I’m certainly not nor is my partner. Ok neither of us would be able to give blood but I know plenty of couple who are and who could be saving lifes.

          3. Spanner1960 9 Aug 2011, 8:17pm

            I can assure you I am even less of a risk than you. I am not promiscuous, have had tests in the past and haven’t so much as slept with anyone else for at least five years.
            .
            I would be more than eligible to give blood, however, I would forgo that opportunity any time if it meant that others less certain could slip through the net.

          4. Jock S. Trap 10 Aug 2011, 9:12am

            I know lots of Gay men who are not promiscuous as well as myself and my partner. Clearly I couldn’t because I am HIV+ but there is no way or excuse why the people I know shouldn’t be able to save lives. It’s just selfish to deny it’s criminal when blood is always needed.

            People who should and shouldn’t be giving blood should be completely equal and no this isn’t so much about Equality as just being able to save lives. It makes absolutely no sense to deny all because of a very few.

  5. Lynne Featherstone promised an annoucement on this in January. But where is it?

  6. Rich (original) 6 Aug 2011, 12:50am

    Who wants homosexual blood anyway? Only another homosexual pervert….

    1. Spanner1960 6 Aug 2011, 12:12pm

      I so wish you were lying in casualty bleeding to death when the only option was blood from a gay man. What goes around comes around.

      1. Rich (original) 6 Aug 2011, 9:12pm

        No matter how you are wishing, that’s not going to happen! So, get lost!

        1. Rich, that is the most ridiculous comment I think you have ever made – a simple accident could result in a transfusion or organ replacement. Blood and organs once cleared for use are completely anonymous so should you require it you will have no idea whom it came from. Under current guidelines lesbians are not banned from giving blood and neither are celibate homosexual men. Closeted homosexual men and bisexuals frequently give blood. It is also statistically likely that people donating blood and organs in the west would regularly consume pork, bacon, gammon and alcohol.

        2. Jock S. Trap 7 Aug 2011, 11:47am

          “that’s not going to happen”

          LOL – know that for sure do you? Oh the mind of the ignorant!

        3. AlaskanAmber 23 Aug 2011, 9:24pm

          How about blood from a gay woman? Last I checked they don’t say, oh you can only have blood from a man… What are you afraid you are going to catch being gay? Look up the reasearch buddy- it is all biological! They have actually found brain differences for people who are homosexual and who are transgendered!

  7. Jock S. Trap 7 Aug 2011, 11:39am

    It does need to be reviewed and dealt with.

    In countries that have stopped the ban, the numbers of infected blood problems have dramatically reduced and it should be no different here, if the people were doing their jobs properly.

    I know too many LGBT people who don’t have risky sex/behaviour who could and should be helping to save lifes.

    End the discrimination – End the ban.

    1. Spanner1960 7 Aug 2011, 6:02pm

      This argument about “many gay people are celibate / non-promiscuous / in a long term relationship” is crap. The simple fact is, more gay men contract HIV than any other social group, and if it means tarring everyone with the same brush in order to prevent infections, I would think that saves far more lives than taking the risk, however small, just so gay people can feel equal. If the majority of gay men didn’t shag around like rabbits, and took more care in their personal health, then maybe one might see some equality, but I’m afraid that’s never going to happen.

      1. AlaskanAmber 23 Aug 2011, 9:36pm

        Actually if you consider intraveneous drug users a social group they have higher rates.

  8. It would be better to ban blood from ALL high risk groups, not just practicing homosexuals.
    Babies die every year from infected blood. Do the gays (or any other high risk group) really want that on their conscience?

  9. Ok, look at this from a different perspective for a moment. Let’s say you have a busy city that’s home to 10 million people. With 1 in 10 men [statistically] gay, that would be 1 million. How many prostitutes who are forced into unprotected sex? I dunno, but with the shame that comes with that, many don’t seek sexual health screening. What’s about Intravenous Drug Users (IVDUs)…there are plent of those around, significantly more than there are gay men. Then the adulterers who don’t get screened regularly in case they caught. Let’s throw in the young, promiscuous people who think ine night stands are the way forward (gay or straight). Aand tand woman who fell and needed a blood transfusion in 1989.

    If you took all these people, who are all high risk, then we’ve just covered EVERYONE! All 10 million! There is a serious issue here, and it’s not human rights, it’s ignorance. (please read on)

  10. When HIV was first circulating in the 1980s (though previous people had been infected) it was originally called GRID which stood for Gay Related Imunosupression Disease, however, the medical world accepted that women had it too, as did straight men, and thus HIV was termed, along with AIDS. It may also be worthwhile that the first person known to have contracted the virus was indeed a male who had NEVER had sexual content with another man.

    Now I could sit here and provide actual statistics as Infection Disease is one area of the medical profession I love and I hope to move into that specialty, but I won’t. Just remember that yes, more gay men are recorded as having HIV but then there are 9 heterosexual men to 1 homosexual man, so if it were equal, then it’d be easy to see the gay community is not even a true “high risk” group, should such a thing truly exist.

    This is the crux – until the mid-90s, blood donations were not screened for any communicable diseases, but they are now….

  11. It is recommended that you should have a asexual health check-up every year and/or between ALL new partners. That’s not just for the gay community, it’s for everyone. So yes, I see this as discriminatory but if I found out that the blood transfusion that just saved my life had infected me with HIV I’d rather have that than die from blood loss.

    JUST BECAUSE SOME MEN ARE GAY IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY HAVE HIV…

    remember this: statistically there areequal proportions of gay men to straight men who receive HIV drug therapy, only because there are fewer homosexuals, on paper it looks as though there are more gay men infected.

  12. I would have thought that guys know when they have been involved in risky sexual behaviour that has put them at higher risk of HIV. Therefore they would have the common sense not to donate blood. However, I know that people aren’t so familiar with the period when blood infected with HIV will still show negative when screened. So, perhaps a big education drive to warn guys about this so that they are not under the impression that it doesn’t matter because it always gets screened. I personally think the ban could be ended as long as there is a corresponding education drive amongst gay guys. The current ban isn’t a failsafe anyway because if a sexually active gay guy is determined to give blood, he just needs to tick the appropriate box on the form. There is no magic gay-detector machine in the blood donation bus. Does anyone know how many people are still being infected through blood transfusion in the UK?

    1. Hey there. Ran through saome old files and some new ones too, took some time but I found the data and have confirmed it.

      The number of patients infected with HIV in the UK since 1985 (which is when they began the screening for the virus) is 3. Yes, 3!

      SaBTO say that the ban is still necessary as one transmission is one too many and that gay men are a risk.

      Should you wish to read more information go to http://www.blood.co.uk/can-i-give-blood/exclusion/ which is the website for the NHS Blood Donation Scheme. Hope that helps. (I particularly found their FAQ’s section VERY interesting…I’ll leave you to form your own opinions though.) Take care. :)

  13. It should be remembered that a “blood donation” is a voluntary gift, and that as such, i.e. a gift, it does not have to be accepted.

    This is not a question of human rights (giving blood is not a human right) or of sexuality, but a question of risk, and of reducing it as much as possible.

    The rate of HIV infection amongst MSM is not going down, many are not aware of their status and many infections happen in the context of a “long term” relationship. Even those on treatment are not necessarily not infectious (in the US 20 % of those infected have a controlled viral load).

    It is in that context that the ban makes sense.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Aug 2011, 9:14am

      Actually, no it doesn’t. The ban should be all those who take risk not those depending on sexuality and allow all those many who don’t take risks give.

  14. What a pity that THT sought to support the ban for so long.

  15. AlaskanAmber 23 Aug 2011, 9:13pm

    I wish we had a petition like this for the US. I live in Alaska and we are having a huge shortage right now and I know at least a dozen gay men who would be perfect donors who can’t donate. They don’t use drugs, they aren’t homeless, they are wonderful about health and such but they are gay so its a no go.

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