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One-year blood donation deferral for UK gay men

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  1. How is this better? This requires gay and bisexual men to be celibate for a year and seems to be based on the assumption that gay sex is always unsafe sex. It still rules out monogamous gay and bisexual donors while letting promiscuous heterosexual donors through. It still plays into the idea that AIDS is a gay disease, a notion rejected by most of the world community where AIDS is killing indiscriminately.

    1. Don Harrison 8 Sep 2011, 5:58pm

      LEM you are right, that is appalling.
      At the LibDem conference,
      LibDem youth supported by Delga aka LGBT LibDem are proposing a “Stigma not Stigma blood ban” to fully sort out the mess which we are currently in.

      1. Don Harrison 8 Sep 2011, 6:05pm

        Jock I disagree with you.
        All blood is tested for disease.
        This is still homophobic.
        A woman who has sex with a Man who also has sex with men (MSM) can give blood at any time.
        It is Stigma not Science

        1. Don Harrison 8 Sep 2011, 6:06pm

          Sorry Stigma not Science

          1. “A woman who has sex with a Man who also has sex with men (MSM) can give blood at any time”

            Erm, actually no she cannot. Women who have had sex with men who have sex with men have been subject to the one year deferal for many years now and I believe that is still the case.

        2. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:31pm

          This has damn all to do with homophobia and everything to do with simple common sense.

    2. “….while letting promiscuous heterosexual donors through.”

      Incorrect. Everyone is required to give a detailed history of their sexual behaviour and general health over the previous 12 months prior to being allowed to give blood. You are then invited by appointment to give blood or not, as the case may be. A risk assessment must be carried out before someone can give blood. Simple as that. A straight person can quite easily be turned down e.g. if a straight man had had unprotected sex with a woman from sub-saharan africa within the last 12 months e.g. whilst on holiday, he would be considered a higher risk not simply “let through” as you assert. You have little real understanding and awareness of the actual issues and processes.

    3. Jock S. Trap 9 Sep 2011, 8:39am

      “How is this better?”

      Well for a start it’s progress from an outright ban. Yes it needs to be adjusted but at least it something is happening.

  2. Yup how is this better ? They allow straight people who have risky sex to donate and gay people in monogamous relationships not to. They need to treat everyone equally.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:32pm

      They will treat people equally when they act equally.. Gay men are statistically WAY more promiscuous than straight ones.

  3. Joseph Newman-Saunders 8 Sep 2011, 11:53am

    I am a gay man and have donated since I was 17 and will continue to donate blood as I perform safe sex with my partner of 3 years and believe that my blood saves lives.

    I will continue to give blood.

    1. How have you managed to do that? They said gay men were banned. Good on you by the way!

    2. Don Harrison 8 Sep 2011, 5:48pm

      Well done Joseph I am proud of you.

    3. I did this four times before, as I decided lying was the lesser of two evils. I changed my mind though…. if gay people continue to donate blood under the guise of being straight, then the true amount of blood being missed is not accounted for. Make them see what they’re missing and maybe they’ll be better persuaded to use logic instead of ignorance. I understand this is a moral dilemma that really has no right or wrong answer and I’m not suggesting for a second your actions are anything less than honourable. I just landed on a different point of view…. besides I still haven’t removed my brighton pride wristband!

      1. I was thinking about lying about my sexuality so I could give blood but I thought if I can’t do it as a proud gay man I don’t want to do it at all.

    4. How so? Everyone is required to disclose their sexual history in an elaborate form of questionnare and aver that it is a true statement of fact. If you are completing that form and are allowed to give blood based on your declaration and they are satisfied that you can give blood, then there is no discrimination is there ? Or are you saying that you are lying? In which case, sorry but that is morally indefensible.

      1. Not really he just changes everytime he talks about his partner into a woman.

    5. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:33pm

      No such thing as safe sex unless you do it over the Internet.
      The term is *safer* – There is always a risk.

  4. Peter & Michael 8 Sep 2011, 12:08pm

    So even living with your same-sex partner over 30 years and in a monogamous relationship having had a civil partnership nearly 6 years ago, are still discriminated in regard to donating blood. Whilst straight people can donate blood without any sex history given, this is a peculiar situation.

  5. This is better and long overdue, though not yet ideal. It doesn’t take account of monogamous couples or the lower risk factor of oral sex.

    It also mustn’t be allowed to distract from the fact that there *is* a higher proportion of gay and bisexual men with HIV, and that HIV charities and services are having their funding cut.

  6. So we still can’t give blood then. The ban is still in effect and we’re still considered diseased just for being gay

    If my brother has unprotected sex with a different woman every night – he can give blood

    I have sex with my monogamous partner of 9 years and I can’t give blood because I’m considered diseased.

    yeaaaah no.

    1. Your brother could certainly sign up to give blood but they make you fill out a form detailing your sexual activities and on that basis, assess the risk to the blood supply. So he may not be called up to give blood based on his activities. Secondly, even if your brother slept with a different woman every night (in the highly unlikely event that every woman would agree to have unprotected sex with him), the risks of him becoming infected would still be slim owing to the fact that the receptive partner is the one at greater risk (i.e. the woman not the man). Fact is, she is more likely to become pregnant than he is to get HIV which is why most women like to use condoms. I do get fed up of ppl on here suggesting that gay men are all having safe sex whilst straight women are promiscuous slappers who never do and spreading STIs to straight men when, IN FACT, it is men who are a risk to women’s sexual health.

      1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:34pm

        Plus one assumes they have vaginal sex. Anal sex is far riskier.

  7. Jock S. Trap 8 Sep 2011, 12:20pm

    It’s progress but it needs clarity.

    I know too many people who should be perfectly entitled to give blood because they are in monogamous relationships.

    Risky sex should be treated equally no matter what gender or sexual orientation.

  8. I welcome this. Why can’t everyone who’s upset about this put more effort into getting gay men to reduce our levels of HIV infection by having safe sex.
    The fact of the matter is that HIV still disproportionately affects gay men. You are at far higher risk of catching HIV if you are gay than straight and we all know how so many people are now considering HIV as no big deal and not using condoms. That’s not prejudice it is factual. Why are we so offended by the facts?

    1. Scott Robertson 8 Sep 2011, 2:19pm

      The reason people are offended is because these “facts” are untrue and prejudiced. When referring to cases of HIV/AIDS ni heterosexuals vs homosexuals, the statistics tend to very but generally hover around the 50/50 mark.
      Also, even if gay men do have protected sex, they are still banned from giving blood unless they stop altogether for a year, whereas heterosexual men who could have unprotected sex with a different partner ever night if they wished could donate whenever they wish without challenge.

      1. You seem a little ill-informed and you don’t really know what you are talking about, in the UK in sexually active homosexual men, 20% have HIV, compared to that of hetrosexual men (0.5%) and hetrosexual women (0.2%). That is the reason these rules are in place, and for good reason too. I work for the NHS, HIV is my specialty, maybe you should think twice before you make ridiculous comments with no evidence behind them.

        1. Harvey, these extravagant and ridiculous claims abound I’m afraid. Ignorance about blood donation and the epidemiological realities of HIV is shocking.

    2. Sorry but straight people are just as likely if not more likely to have unprotected sex. But they’re not descriminated against at all!

      1. But they are less likely to have HIV. 20% of sexually active gay men are HIV positive. It seems we cant accept medical facts. The blood ban comes into place because we are a high risk group. Instead of moaning about prejudice we should be finding ways to bring down the rates of HIV in gay men but so many of us are having unsafe sex it seems it wont happen.

        1. And in the mean time, the 80% of gay people who don’t have HIV are banned from saving people’s lives and classed as diseased?

          I imagine this topic strikes a chord with so many gay men because so many of us do NOT have HIV and are highly unlikely to contract it, yet we’re thrown into the same bracket as the (mainly) ignorant fools and drug abusers, with the odd spattering of gay rape victims. This might sound harsh but it doesn’t make it less true. Those of us who want to give blood who live a perfectly respectable life are sick of the twats out there effecting peoples’ perception of us, simple as that.

          I imagine the issue of gay blood donation coupled with HIV/AIDS is going to create the same schism in the gay community as equal marriage does in the religious one.

        2. Paul,agreed. I tear my hair out trying to get this point across because all you hear from ppl is “oh youre a bigot”. Bollocks. Yes, anyone CAN get HIV but we’re not all facing the same risk. The risks to straight ppl and gay men are DIFFERENT. Its like saying that a formula one racing driver’s risk of crashing is the same as someone who tootles about at 30 miles an hour. HIV has to find a route into the straight population and quite simply, it is not as easy for it to get in as it is to the gay population owing to the principal route of transmission – receptive anal sex. Last time I looked, millions of straight men were not having unprotected anal sex with other men which they then transmitted to women and thereby caused high levels of HIV into the straight population. Intravenous drug use, contaminted blood (rare) or sex with bisexual men are the only other routes of transmission. It is simple epidemiology. If it wasn’t, hiv would be rife among the straight population in UK.

  9. Look on the bright side. If you’re single and want to play hard to get and make a guy wait for it, you can fob him off now by telling him you’re saving yourself to give blood :-P

  10. This is worse than an outright ban. It implies all male sexual contact has the risk of passing on a disease

    1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:35pm

      At last! Somebody gets the bleedin’ obvious!

  11. Actually, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is now affecting heterosexuals in emerging nations on the African continent as well as the far east at a far higher rate than it is among gays and bisexuals worldwide.

    A one year deferral is too excessive. Most of us won’t contract HIV, so this is nothing more than discrimination when straights aren’t held to the same scrutiny, as if some of them don’t engage in risky behaviour.

    1. Yes but Robert, we are not talking about blood donation in Sub-Saharan Africa or Asia, we’re talking about blood donation as it applies to the UK and the fact is gay men are a higher risk group. I agree that it is somewhat arbitrary to place a one year abstinence requirement since ppl can lie about these things and who is going to abstain in order to give blood? However, one would hope that common sense will prevail and ppl will not sign up to give blood knowing that they might have been exposed to HIV. In any event, you dont just turn up and give blood. You have to fill out a questionnaire which asks you a series of detailed questions about your sexual activities; it doesnt ask you are you gay or straight? It asks you whether you have had unprotected sex in the last 12 months etcetc. They have to do a risk assessment and it would be remiss for them not to do so.

  12. Scott Robertson 8 Sep 2011, 2:22pm

    The fact remains that men who have (and continue to) have sex with men are still banned from giving blood.

    Men who used to have sex with men 12 months ago, however, are not.

    Equality? No. Not by a long shot.

  13. I can believe I read this!! I’m not a gay man! And so my following statement may well be completely wrong, but I imagine gay men maybe more likely to use a condom then straighnt men!

    When you hear in the news of men who have passed on HIV to their partners because they refused to use a condom even though they knew they was carrying HIV have been straight. Never read of a gay man doing such a thing!!

    Frankly I am disgusted by thsi!

    1. Yes but the problem is with people who don’t know they have HIV that pass it on and as the gay population (not all but some) is more promiscuous it sometimes means that it gets passed to more people before they realise they have HIV.

  14. Chris Morris 8 Sep 2011, 3:11pm

    These health officials must be very confused if they think a straight man who has unprotected sex with lots of strangers is less likely to get infected than a gay man who’s tested negative and is in a long-term, monogamous relationship with someone who’s also tested negative.

  15. Stephen Tonks 8 Sep 2011, 3:29pm

    We must remember that the 12 month decision was taken on the fact that Hepatitis B can take up to a year to show in blood samples. But obviously straight people are just as likely to contract Hep B!

    Ludicrous judgement IMHO. I think everyone giving blood should be made to give a full sexual history.

    1. They are! Aquaint yourself with the facts before judging. Everyone is required to give details of their sexual history and physical health.

  16. What if you are immune to Hep A and B?

    This doesn’t make sense!

  17. concerned 8 Sep 2011, 7:17pm

    Silly and an arbitrary time frame. EIther be honest and have a total ban or not. What difference does waiting a year make in the scheme of things? Secondly, how are they going to prove whether someone’s not had sex for a year? And there is no such thing as “gay sex”. There is anal, vaginal or oral and its either safe or not. This policy is all round odd.

  18. also-concerned 9 Sep 2011, 8:10am

    “concerned” completely misses the point. How do you justify banning a monogamous gay male couple who have each been tested negative?

    I don’t know the comparable numbers in the UK, but in the US, the last time i` saw the numbers, gay men are about 40 times more likely to be + than the general population. Black women are about 20 times more likely. How do you justify putting blanket restrictions on gay men and not on black women? After all, if the only issue is looking at the facts, black women a a huge risk.

  19. But they’re not, that’s the whole point! People should be screened on their behaviour not their orientation or race. And since society is about 95% straight there is a lot more potential for promiscuous straights to contaminate the blood supply.

  20. That’s absolutely not true. There are more straight people in the country but despite HIV being around for 25 years HIV is still at higher rates in gay men than straight people. Call the THT if you don’t believe it. It’s a fact.

  21. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:37pm

    They should be screened on whatever criteria indicate an above normal statistic.
    If they find that there is a high instance in one-legged Indians in Wigan, then they may have to screen those too.

  22. I’m afraid you’re misinterpreting things. If say 2% of gay men have hiv and 1% of straight people, then because straights number 95% then “there is a lot more potential for promiscuous straights to contaminate the blood supply.”

  23. Ah, the troll is back. How is a monogamous gay couple of 30 years a higher risk than a 21 year old woman who has slept with 50 people, mostly unprotected? Oh wait, they *aren’t*.

    Although a vast improvement over the previous lifetime ban, this is still a deeply flawed solution. It’s a step in the right direction, but only a single step.

  24. Thanks but no thanks. You can keep your idiocy riddled religion.

  25. Fak off back to your mums smelly cnut

  26. Well, it didn’t happen your way. Tough. I suppose you’re used to failure, aren’t you? Even commenting on a gay site has been an utter failure for you Keith-Delete, hasn’t it?

  27. ...westie... 8 Sep 2011, 3:38pm


    It is clearly discrimination in terms of sexual orientation, race and gender – the high risk is associated with sexual behaviours; that is what should be screened out – I have no idea why that is so difficult for you to understand.

    Blood borne viruses are not bothered who they infect, and as I have mentioned earlier Hep C and B are far more resiliant viruses and have a much longer window period. When was the last time you had a sexual screen that included a Hep C test?????

  28. Who cares, you’re a religious basket case. What you call yourself is irrelevant. As for the “sodomy”, how was it for you, before jesus fingered you are you were “cured”, or whatever you ex-gays call it these days?

  29. Blah blah bald. You could do with praying to jesus more, he might cure you of your insanity. God knows, the meds didn’t work, did they delete-keith?

  30. I couldn’t agree more!!!

  31. No one cares Keith…. hence all your efforts at abuse at now deleted in the PN recycle bin.

    Didn’t god jump in and save your ridiculous comments?

    LOL. So bloody sweet.

  32. PTL . . . as the Fundamentalist would say
    Praise the Lord
    and lets all speak in tongues . . .

    “hgfoebk fiouew njkfoiuhew iojnwnjcu nfueowhc”

  33. Yep!

    As Keith himself would say “Yada yada…yap yap….wibble..burble!”

    ….before his vile lies were wiped from our great site by the lord himself!


  34. FAQ Schizophrenia and how to get help

  35. Jock S. Trap 9 Sep 2011, 8:43am

    Totally irrelevent. We and Who We are is NOT up for debate.

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