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Peter Tatchell: A 12-month blood donation ban is still unjustified

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  1. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Sep 2011, 7:58pm

    Quite so.

    The decision on who can or cannot give blood should be individually based on evidence gleaned from questions as to exactly what you’ve been up to not whether or not you’re gay or straight.

    As someone once put it:

    “So, as things stand, I could be given Russell Brand’s blood but not Stephen Fry’s?”.

  2. Ian Bower 8 Sep 2011, 8:00pm

    There is still homophobic prejudice in this latest declaration.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:05pm

      Bollocks. There is no homophobia in it. It is simply common sense, and it’s about time people like you that squeal every time they get the finger pointed at them to shut the hell up. Or would you rather some innocent died simply so you can hold up you head and claim equality?

    2. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:41pm

      You’re an idiot. This has damn all to do with homophobia.
      You would rather have equal rights and risk infecting innocent people.

      1. WHY ARE YOU EVEN ON THIS SITE YOU PIG IGNORANT IDIOT – unlike morons like you HIV doesn’t discriminate – so all the hetrosexuals who have HIV and don’t know it – cause they have never been tested as they wrongly believe they are not at risk –
        are welcome to give blood The largest sexual group with HIV are Hetrosexuals – more Gay Men have tested for HIV than those at risk from the str8 communities – your self-loathing and hatred is typical of the ignorance we have to hear –

        1. Spanner1960 10 Sep 2011, 9:56am

          The largest sexual group is human beings.
          One has to divide it down into manageable groups. There are proportionally more gay men in the UK with HIV/AIDS than straight ones. That is a simple, straightforward and incontravertible FACT. It has nothing to do with homophobia.

          Don’t try and throw your “self-loathing” crap on me, just because gay men can’t keep their dicks in their pants and after 30 years of constant warnings still continue to bareback and have unsafe sex.

          1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:06am

            I take it you include yourself in that being that you Are supposed to be a Gay man?

            I know many couples, Lesbian, Gay etc who don’t play around and they should be able to save lives just as much as I know many Straight people who have risky sex and should be banned.

            Truth is, yet again, in countries that have dropped the ban, there has been a majot reduction in infections via blood bank. In both Spain and Italy down to 2 or 3 from up to 20.

            Your making arguement for arguement sake and no other. Many your afraid of needles or something but acting so irrationally is hardly becoming.

            Oh and before you go on about facts, figues in evidence, we have been here before and you have already seen. You just wish to be blinded to it so there would be no point in going through all that again.

            Fact – you already know the facts, the reductions. Whats you real problem? Giving blood isn’t compulsory?

          2. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:09am

            I’ve already seen the comment pages on mainstream media over this, people hoping not to get ‘Gay’ blood much in the same light as people who don’t want to be treated by a Black doctor. But when it comes down to it these same bigots won’t be so discriminating if and when it comes to the time to save the lives of themselves or of someone close to them.

            The time for discrimination is coming to an end on blood donation. Just as there are Gay people that should be able to there are Straight people who shouldn’t.

        2. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:11am

          Well put JohnD.

          Personally I don’t think Spanner1960’s problem is so much about giving blood and maybe his own fear or lack of trust of health authrioties in which case he needs to take those issues up with them for reassurances.

  3. I think that the 12 month ban is totally unjustified (albeit an improvement on the current unjustifiable decision).

    Whilst I appreciate few countries have better policies on blood donation than the new proposals for the UK, surely we should be demonstrating to the world our sense of integrity in our systems and equality.

    I know some argumentative sorts will say that any risk is too much (usually from religious or homophobic arguments although not always). However, all blood is screened and should continue to be screened. There are risks in the self declarations from heterosexuals currently which are resolved by current screening. Many safe homosexual and bisexual men and women will now be able (in consicence) donate a life saving product that is valuable.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:07pm

      Eliminating high risk categories from donating *is* part of the screening process.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:13am

        Then eliminate appropiately, not discriminatory.

  4. Peter & Michael 8 Sep 2011, 9:15pm

    Would like to add, although we have been in a monogamous relationship for over 30 years, we could at one time easily be vaccinated against Hepatitis A/B, every five years or so we got a top up, now as we come to the end of another 5 yr window, we find that there is now a financial bill to pay for the Hepatitis top up. Do we still need to be inoculated, after being in such long term monogamous relationship?

    1. Mumbo Jumbo 9 Sep 2011, 12:57pm

      You might want to go down to your local sexual heath clinic as, unlike GPs, they do not charge for hep jabs. They will also give you the best advice on whether you need them. I hope this helps.

  5. It would be great if you campaigned against Muslims, the vast majority of whom are homophobic, a bit more, Peter.

    Or, at least, don’t defend them.

    1. There’s nothing inherent in Muslims that makes them homophobic. They are people too and, like all people, they get things wrong sometimes. Homophobia is one such mistake.

      You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. “Campaigning against” Muslims is likely to polarise options and entrench prejudices. Engaging in dialogue with moderate Muslims in the hopes of winning them over would be far more effective.

      1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:08pm

        You catch even more flies with a bloody great electrical zapper.

        1. Nothing like an overstretched analogy to ruin a decent debate

    2. I have to agree. Poll after poll has constantly shown that muslims are the most homophobic in our society. Yet Peter still defends them. It is shocking. Even most moderate muslims are still homophobic. You can’t change their minds.

  6. I would not have a blood transfusion from a gay man. And when they says he hasn’t had sex for a whole year, they get believed? How are we going to make them prove it ?

    I say keep it how it is now.

    1. You’re an idiot. You’re telling me you’d rather receive blood from a sexually promiscuous straight male, than a homosexual in a monogamous relationship?

      Although those aren’t the only two options, you’d clearly chose the former, if you had to, which is ridiculous. It is not justifiable to ban homosexual men from donating blood, when straights who engage in far more dangerous activities can give blood. As Ben Summerskill said:

      “A gay man in a monogamous relationship who has only had oral sex will still automatically be unable to give blood but a heterosexual man who has had multiple partners and not worn a condom will not be questioned about his behaviour, or even then, excluded”

    2. — “I would not have a blood transfusion from a gay man.”

      Why? A gay man is simply someone who has romantic and sexual feelings towards other men. A gay person can be celibate, be in a faithful, monogamous relationship, can sleep around and et cetera. So, for you to throw all gay people in the same box exposes your ignorance.

      — “And when they says he hasn’t had sex for a whole year, they get believed? How are we going to make them prove it ?”

      Another stupid comment. If a gay men can lie about not having had sex with another man in the last 12 months then they can also lie under the current system with the life long ban.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:20am

        Prehaps he thinks it’ll turn him Gay?

        Though being that I think he’s clearly already closeted I doubt there is any fear.

    3. “And when they says he hasn’t had sex for a whole year, they get believed? How are we going to make them prove it ?”

      And how do you prove it when straight people might be telling lies?

      You’re a utter fool.

      1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:10pm

        You are not going to prove it either way, but the statistics don’t lie. If a higher than average proportion of a minority group are more likely to be a risk, then eliminate that group.

        1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:23am

          Then how come in other countries blood screening and allowing all who can donate has reduced the changes of donation infection?

          (We’ve done the evidence before, as you’ve already seen but even then you refuse to accept so please don’t ask again. Maybe sort out what Is actually bothering about this!)

      2. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:21am

        Indeed Will. Nothing like a hypocrite trying to spell it out…. somehow to justify his bigotry.

    4. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:17am

      “I would not have a blood transfusion from a gay man.”

      And how exactly are you going to know that the blood comes from a Gay man? Idiot.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:18am

        Mind you having said that, if your bigotry would rather you die than live then one less bigot isn’t really that much of a loss.

  7. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 9 Sep 2011, 6:56am

    What is it with the UK, with their on-going silly bans on gay civil marriage, previous section 28 now repealed, previous higher age of consent laws set at 21 in 1967 now equal in 2001 (10 years ago) and still a ban on a bi/gay man donating much needed blood to the nation that is in short supply! God they love their bans in the UK – they are massively obsessed with bans.

    It is time in 2011 to allow civil marriage for same sex couples, allow different sex couples civil partnerships and allow all bi/gay men who practice safer sex with a condom properly to allow the donation of blood after 1 week because it takes 1 week to rest and restore blood cells after you lose blood – it is time in 2011 to REMOVE ALL BANS NOW PLEASE! – not one year.

    Who silly brain came up with the one year period – sounds like a minister and some pollies was smoking cones to me! Portugal allow gay and bi men to donate blood – let me know of other countries that allow gay or bi men to donate blood please.

    1. eh?

    2. Spanner1960 11 Sep 2011, 12:03pm

      What silly brain came up with the idea that HIV can take up to 6 months to show itself?
      You really are a prat.

  8. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 9 Sep 2011, 7:04am

    I just did some research and found all of these countries that allow gay marriage for example Sweden, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands or Holland, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Argentina, all states in the US that have gay marriage (but California could repeal it through a court case) – actually still keep bans on gay or bi men from donating blood – except for Portugal.

    And I thought that once you allow gay marriage we are equal – well far from it if these gay/bi bans on blood donations are anything to go by!!!

    1. You mssed out South Africa!

  9. Gay Activist Paul Mitchell 9 Sep 2011, 7:09am

    Australia my home country also has a 1 year ban for gay/bi men who donate blood as well.

    So the UK is turning into Australia when keeping bans on gay marriages and banning gay/bi men from donating blood.

    Tasmania court case in 2009 also highlighted that the 1 year ban on blood donations from gay/bi men is justified – what justification I say?????

  10. Jock S. Trap 9 Sep 2011, 12:05pm

    I do agree the ban is still unjustifed. I know many Gay/Lesbian couples who should be able to help save lives not be excluded. Just as I know some straight people who should be excluded but are able to give blood.

    However we must see this as one massive step. Lets not forget which parties are in government and this time is this a massive step from a complete ban let along the media pick up of a 10 year ban.

    I think we have to acknowledge that but accept, yes that more needs to be done to make it fairer.

  11. Not at all.
    He is wrong. Let’s pick our battles people. HIV can take up to 3 months to show up. They can’t ban everyone so they have to make an informed choice and HIV is very much a gay problem still. Look at the figures!!
    There will be case of people becoming infected

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Sep 2011, 10:25am

      Figures show there are more heterosexual than homosexual new diagnoses each year in the UK.

      1. Comletely agree, Andy. The truth is, although all blood is screened, there is a 12 month window during which some infections, hep b, cannot be detected. Given that gay men also receive blood when they need it, I think we should all be incredibly glad that the right precautions are taken.

        Also, to answer the question about straights being the largest grouping. This is absolutely true. BUT, two thirds of straight people with HIV contract it in parts of the world where it is v common (such as parts of africa and Asia). Anyone who has had sex in these countries in the last 12 months, straight or gay, is banned from giving blood. The remaining straights who have HIV overwhelmingly have it through drug use and prostitution. Again, both of these categories are banned from giving blood.

        This isn’t about homophobia. Lesbians have always been able to give blood, for example. But the truth is, normal gay sex is a genuine risk factor. This is the right move.

      2. Spanner1960 11 Sep 2011, 12:01pm

        That’s because there are more straights than gays, but proportionally, There is a higher percentage of gays with HIV than there is ofb straights. Like duh, geddit?
        Please stop twisting stats to try and prove otherwise.

        1. Jock S. Trap 11 Sep 2011, 2:26pm

          Prehaps with people like you about things will never get better.

  12. I agree, but this article is very poorly argued. It confuses on two different but related questions, making its answer to each unclear.
    1. Can and should a distinction be made between adequately protected sex and inadequately protected sex?
    2. What should the blood donation deferral times be?
    Is Tatchell saying the 12-month ban is unjustified for any kind of sex or just inadequately protected? What kind of a ban does he advocate for those engaging in riskier behaviour?

    1. Spanner1960 9 Sep 2011, 5:14pm

      1. No. Simply because very few people are going to admit to having unprotected sex with strangers as it is regarded as socially unacceptable, much like drink driving. Yet it goes on far more often than people like to admit.

      2. Sex is sex. I know someone that caught HIV via oral sex.
      Rare yes, impossible, no.

      1. That’s one possible answer, but missing the point. By asking those questions I was merely presenting the debate, not engaging with it.
        Once the frame of discussion is clear, the results will be more fruitful.

  13. “So, as things stand, I could be given Russell Brand’s blood but not Stephen Fry’s?”.

    Yes, but you can eliminate the chance of geting stephen Frys contaminated blood without detriment to thegebneral supply. If you eliminate the chance of getting Russell Brand’s contaminated supply, it is to the detriment of the populace.

  14. Peter Tatchell looks rather unwell. is there ‘something’ wrong with him?

    1. do you think it’s appropriate to be asking personal questions about someone’s private health issues, existent or not?

  15. Jessiepeace 10 Sep 2011, 10:12pm

    The lift of the ban is hopefully on its way to being completely equal between homosexual’s and heterosexual’s but it is still annoying that they are still segregating the gay community.

    When will the realise how stupid they are?


  16. Welcome to Finland. One intercourse with same sex means lifetime ban.

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