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Northern Ireland health minister refuses to lift gay blood ban

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  1. Mark & The Zebra 22 Sep 2011, 11:05am

    But a heterosexual man can sleep with a mass of different women and give blood the next day!!
    How is that “safer” than blood from a monogamous gay couple??
    Lets not forget that gay men are far more likely to know their HIV status than “straight” men..
    Mr Poots.. You are an idiot!

  2. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 11:08am

    At least some people show some sense.

    I wonder if these morons that keep screaming “homophobia” would be so vociferous if they were to contract an infection from a blood donation. The risk continues to be ever present, and the testing is not foolproof or 100% accurate, and part of that very screening process includes who should be restricted from donating.

    Personally, I think the restrictions should be even higher, so anybody in a high risk group, including sex workers, intravenous drug users, sub-Saharan black Africans and anybody having more than two sexual partners in a month should be banned.

    1. concernedresidentE3 22 Sep 2011, 12:58pm

      for once spanner I agree with you though I should point out that sex workers, intravenous drug users, sub-Saharan black Africans and anyone who has had sex with any one of those groups including women who sleep with bisexual men are all already excluded. There are cogent medical reasons for this that ensure the UK has the highest standards of biosafety. Using words like ‘homophobia’ or ‘racism’ about clinical exclusion criteria is inappropriate.

      I should also point out that the reason transfusers are not asked about üpromiscuity is tahtyears of research show that the individuals who pose the greatest risk are akllso the most likely to lie about the sex they have. This is not a problem in the wider population as the seroprevalence in this group is nevertheless still at a very low level. The same cannot be said of the gay communiity where seroprevalence is orders of magnitude highjer. The English decision to allow celibate gay men to give blood therefore fiills me with dread . . . .

    2. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:25am

      Yeah, straight people with HIV must be fine eh?
      -
      This is discriminating and you know it.

  3. Sorry, I agree with his decision. I have seen many silly selfish men in the sauna’s having unprotected sex and not seeming to care. Like it or not anal sex spreads the disease pretty quickly and It would be a tragedy if someone infected it from contaminated blood – even without their knowing about it.

    1. The people you refer to would still be excluded because of their choices but heterosexual men carrying out the same practices (say at dogging sites) are currently not – that is the discrimination at work here. People should be screened for their sexual risks not their sexuality.

      1. concernedresidentE3 22 Sep 2011, 1:04pm

        it is not promiscuity itself that is the problem Dave. You could have unprotected sex with thousands of seronegative people and it would not make you positive. Sex once with a positive person could do. There is actually evidence that suggests highly promiscuous people are more likely to use condoms and that one of the biggest growing group of positive gay men are actually in monogamous relationships that were serodivergent.

        in the end it comes down to prevalence. If one in 1000 potential sexual partners is positive you would have to be terrifically unlucky to have a very sm,all chance of seroconverting. But if one in 3 of your potential sexual partners is positive the odds of seroconversion are VERY much higher.

        1. I always like this definition of ‘promiscuous – someone who has had 1 more sex partner than YOU

        2. So people who have lived and had sex in Africa and those who go out dogging are OK but being gay is not.

          When you say “there is actually evidence that suggests’” what you mean is that there is no evidence but we would like it to say there is because it fits with what you believe,

          It is about risk not sexuality !

        3. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:33am

          So ban All those who pose a risk not just one group and allow those that don’t have risky sex of which there are plenty.

    2. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:28am

      Funny that coz I know many ‘selfish’ straight men who go out every weekend to go ‘get’ every woman they can to notch up the score as it were. All unsafe but guess thy’re fine yeah?
      =
      See unlike you HIV Doesn’t discriminate.

  4. Mumbo Jumbo 22 Sep 2011, 11:34am

    Poots, you will not be surprised to hear, is a Young Earth Creationist who denies evolution:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2007/12/are_religious_politicians_nutt.html

    1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 1:54pm

      Even prats occasionally demonstrate shafts of intelligence.

    2. paddyswurds 22 Sep 2011, 4:16pm

      @MumboJumbo….
      …..I am so ashamed that as an Irishman, I might be lumped in with this lug Poots. So now we should teach our children that paranoid ramblings of ignorant desert tribesmen of 5000 years ago is legitimate alternative to science. Unbelieveable…..

      1. Ah well, if you get a united Ireland he could be you minister of education lol

  5. I agree with him, if you want to donate, stop having random sex, with random strangers, thats how the gay community gets a bad name.

    1. you dickhead – the gay community only has a ‘bad’ reputation as you so patronizingly put it – because of backward, judgemental morons like you –

      Hetrosexuals are the ones recklessly transmitting this Virus now – - Or have you forgotten that Gays exist – one in ten – in the population, there are 33 million living with the virus – you do the maths – if it’s not beyond you intellect.

      1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 2:03pm

        JohnD: Let’s get a couple of facts straight here:

        1) There is no gay “community”. It just happens to be a bunch of like-minded people, but that doesn’t infer they care about one another. In reality, most of them don’t give a flying sh|t about anybody else.

        2) Gay men have a bad reputation for good reason, they sleep around and many have unprotected sex. The simple HIV statistics demonstrate that. Gays may be 1 in 10, but you are talking about a fraction of a fraction, so in real terms gays are still four times more likely to have HIV than the average population.
        YOU do the maths, sunshine, it’s called compound differentials.

        This constant crap straw-man argument is wearing thin: “Straight people can sleep around but they don’t get banned. Boo-fcking-hoo!”
        The reason is heterosexual promiscuity is a lot less, they tend to use condoms more these days rather than trust the pill, and most don’t do anal sex, which is still the biggest single vector of the virus.

        1. Dr Robin Guthrie 22 Sep 2011, 3:11pm

          “heterosexual promiscuity is a lot less”

          On which planet is this the case?

          1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 3:54pm

            Proportionally, they still are.

          2. Not from my research of academic studies and clinical studies into sexual health. Heterosexual promiscuity (particularly in the 13-25 age group is rife and at least equal to homosexual promiscuity, but more likely significantly more promiscious.

          3. jamestoronto 22 Sep 2011, 6:14pm

            Tell that to the Africans where by far and away the vast majority of HIV patients are straight men and women..

        2. Yawn Yawn Yawn

          Just because Spanner1960 believes there to be no LGBT community does not make it a fact

          There are plenty of LGBT communities and he is disingenuous to suggest otherwise

          Many of the communities are valuable to their members and others associated and connected to them and to deny their existence is an outrageous and damaging condemnation by a small minded viewpoint that lacks credibility or candour

          1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 5:22pm

            And just because you think there is one does not support it either.
            gay men, by their very nature, have had to learn to accept their sexuality and stand on their own two feet and face the world alone.

            That is by no means an easy task, but I do think it isolates people, and I think most gay people at one time or another have felt totally alone, and so have had to become selfish in order to be strong enough in themselves to be socially accepted.

            I think to a certain degree, lesbians have it somewhat easier as they bond better than men, and trans people have it worse because often they don’t wish to, or can’t hide their gender physically, and so get far more stick for it.

          2. There is nothing incompatible about a gay man being able to be independent and involved in society as a whole and being part of one or more LGBT communities.

            There is nothing incompatible with being able to face the world alone, and seeking support from those willing and able to offer it. Sometimes, in some situations we have to categorically stand up for ourselves. Sometimes, there are people there to support, help and stand by us – I call that community.

            I wouldnt like to comment on whether gay men, lesbians or trans people find it easier or harder to engage. I would suspect it varies from person to person, and depends on the level of independence, contact with those who are willing and able to support, encourage and stand by each other (and that should be in both directions) and the level of maturity and understanding that the individual has.

          3. jamestoronto 22 Sep 2011, 6:16pm

            I shudder to think there might be a WHOLE community of Spanners out there. Someone help us if there is.

        3. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 5:24pm

          Stu :”Not from my research of academic studies and clinical studies into sexual health.”

          Bugger academic studies. Try visiting Chariots sauna on a Saturday night and then tell me gay men are not promiscuous.

          1. I’m not saying that some gay men are not promiscuous and would never say that because its blatantly true that some gay men are promiscuous.

            What I am saying is there are more heterosexuals, these days, that are promiscuous that gay men.

            Try coming into the walk in centre I used to work in and see the number of promiscuous young heterosexual people then compare it to the number of gay people who attend for sexual health issues …. Academic research and studies normally has an element of balance and perspective, whilst a simple glance at a sauna does not take into account what is happening elsewhere. Looking at the sauna proves some gay men are promiscuous but not that they are more promiscuous than heterosexuals. You need a comparison.

          2. jamestoronto 22 Sep 2011, 6:11pm

            That’s like saying all straights are drunks because the bar is full of them. Or all gays take only buses because three are at a bus-stop together. Or all soccer (football) fans are racists because of the chants no one does anything about it. You bring up the stupidest analogies.

          3. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:45am

            mmmm, somewhere you frequent Spanner? I can’t believe you are so naive but then if you spend your time slaggin it in sauna maybe you should stop judgin all by your sorry standards.

        4. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:39am

          Just because your a slut and have sex with everything that moves doesn’t mean the rest of us do.
          -
          Stop judging all by your low standards.
          -
          “Gay men have a bad reputation for good reason, they sleep around and many have unprotected sex.”
          -
          Please research the amount of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in the UK. We are the highest in Europe and probably most of the western world. Those things tend not to happen with safer sex but hey straight people with HIV that fine right?

    2. What an incredibly stupid comment Matthew makes.

      ALL gay men are banned from donating blood if they have had sex in the past year.

      That includes those men in monogamous relationships.

    3. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:35am

      Because only Gay people lie right?
      -
      See unlike you HIV does Not discriminate.

  6. Deeside Will 22 Sep 2011, 1:01pm

    I have no expertise in this matter. All that I would say is that the question must be decided purely and solely on objective, scientific grounds. Neither the desire for equality nor the desire for inequality should enter into the matter at all.

    1. I suggest you look at the blood donation criteria in Spain, Latvia and Italy where systematic research on objective clinical and scientific grounds has formed a policy that does not have an outright ban on gay men donating blood and the restrictions are significantly different from a lifetime or one year ban.

      The following news story may be of interest:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14844413

    2. Germany and Poland have also reviewed their exclusions and have adopted similar stances to Italy, Latvia and Spain

  7. Until the world’s governments re-look at the way they report, decribed, and how people are educated about HIV – it will always be defined as a GAY Virus, It isn’t it is a WW pandemic that, unlike so many people in our world, doesn’t discriminate. The are not 33 million Gays in the world – There are 33 million plus living with HIV

  8. Fuk em….don’t come running to me when your stocks get low Mr Poots & while you are at it….keep your filthy misinformed hands OFF my sexuality!

  9. this is a first class illustration of why devolution of power to Northern Ireland, an area full of backward religious bigots such as dear old Edwin, is not, maybe, an unqualifiedly good thing,

    1. jamestoronto 22 Sep 2011, 9:59pm

      Small mercies. Were it not for devolution, he may have run for and won a seat at Westminster. At least his zone o influence is much smaller this way. I am always amazed at how some of these kooks get elected everywhere. YOu have to wonder what people are thinking with, if they’re thinking at all.

  10. The incoherent absurdity remains that heterosexual people with multiple partners and no protection who never think that HIV has anything to do with them are welcome to donate, while gay men having safe sex and/or faithful relationships are excluded. And let’s not forget all the folk who routinely lie about their sexual behaviour. Irrational and prejudiced donation rules should be replaced by more effective testing of donated blood.

    1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 3:59pm

      Well, why don’t they just effect a cure and be done with it, then we wouldn’t have a problem at all, would we? Stop being such a naive twat and be practical.

      Testing is effective as it possibly can be knowing the way retroviruses work. Screening people demographically is always going to be more efficacious than just lab tests.

      1. It’s pretty naive and twattish to imagine that demographic and statistical profiling will cover the dishonest and the forgetful.

        1. That may work in prediction of psychological behaviour and profiling but not in prediction of how a virus is spread. Nor does it help protect from those who lie and do not fit the prejudiced assumptions that the demographics being used demonstrate. If they really used the demographics then young heterosexuals under 25 would be excluded …. but that would not be fair as not all are risky … it should be a more sophisticated system that has reliability at its heart rather than irrational, unreliable and inaccurate presumptions that are outdated.

  11. Whilst it is very disappointing that N Ireland ministers are unwilling to adopt an appropriate safe regime of blood donation programmes (even the English proposals albeit not clinically justifiable in their restrictions would be preferable!); I do find the comments of the UUP health spokesman refreshingly surprising in his support for removing outdated and irrational prejudice.

  12. DaveG, anal sex is practiced among many heterosexual people, married or otherwise but they’re NOT banned. Heteros also have a high rate of promiscuity, again, never banned or questioned.

    If this disease had first erupted among straights, they’d still ban us. In fact, in America, hetero women are the fastest group succombing to HIV infection among other STDs, HPV is another one.

    1. but those women are getting it from their Bi partners who are active on the Gay scene

  13. The only way to keep the blood supply safer is to prescreen everyone who wishes to donate with a blood test, straight and gay alike. Questions don’t have to be asked, just do it, get the result and proceed from there.

    1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 4:02pm

      That’s all well and good, but effective screening means blood tests over a six month period, and abstinence in between. If you are willing to give up sex for that long just to help your fellow man, then you are a better man the rest of us.

      1. Jock S. Trap 24 Sep 2011, 5:03pm

        With you attitude I think most of us are better men and women.

  14. Spanner, doesn’t mean having to give up sex, all people need do is just take precautions, responsibliity for one’s actions, straight or gay. Doesn’t have to be every six months if one takes the necessary precautions. Public education about the disease, among others, is extremely poor to make matters worse.

    1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 5:15pm

      You have obviously not had an HIV test, or you would know that it takes that long to confirm tests that the virus is not present in the body. If I had a quid for every time I heard someone say “It’s OK, I’m clean”, I would be a rich man by now. I am not necessarily saying they are lying, but statistically, a large proportion of HIV+ people are totally unaware they have been infected, either due to their denial, arrogance or simple naivety.

      Public education has been rammed down people’s throats ever since gay men started dropping like flies back in the 80′s. If pharmaceuticals had not developed the way they have, I actually think HIV would be a lot rarer, because people would be so sh|t scared of infection, they would be a lot more careful, or abstain altogether.

      The problem is, many people think it is all a thing of the past and we can cure it now, and it has lulled people into a massive sense of false security.

      1. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:59am

        Thats why unwanted pregnancies and abortions each year are triple that of people getting and living with HIV but hang on aren’t the majority of unwanted pregnancies and abortions a result of unsafe sex?
        -
        You may wish to single out a community and judge them by your standards but why so blind and why so naive?

      2. Jock S. Trap 24 Sep 2011, 2:06pm

        Your ignornce kills more people than HIV.

  15. de Villiers 22 Sep 2011, 5:10pm

    Whatever the merits of the ban, having read the conversation between Messrs Poots and Parris, one wonders how Mr Poots can be a government Minister.

    1. Spanner1960 22 Sep 2011, 5:16pm

      To that fact, I agree. The man is a complete balloon.
      Nevertheless, I feel he is correct in this particular regard.

      1. jamestoronto 22 Sep 2011, 8:09pm

        Either he is a fantasy scientist (a balloon) or a factual scientist. Which is he. If his logic in one regard is innately stupid how can any of his reasoning be supported. I’d say the man is a dinosaur but by his logic they never existed.

  16. It’s fair enough. I completely agree with it. This is typical of our denial that is fuelling the HIV epidemic. We refuse to accept we are the highest risk group and that so many of us are running round having casual unsafe sex.

    1. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 10:02am

      And you are amongst the people that with that attitude HIV will never be controlled.

  17. The arguments on here are wrong. 1 in 7 gay men are HIV positive.
    It is one in thousands of straight people.
    Youd have more chance of catching HIV by sleeping with one gay men unsafely than with hundreads of straight women or men. Fact.

    1. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 10:03am

      Actually, no it’s not a fact. It scaremongering to suit your own ego coz unlike you HIV does not discriminate.

  18. Spanner, I’ve had 3 tests in my entire life, although I’ve NEVER engaged in risky sexual behaviour. If people have always taken precautions as I have, there is no need to get tested every 6 months.

    Paul, worldwide, HIV/AIDS is now overwhelmingly heterosexually transmitted according to the World Health Organisation.

    1. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 10:01am

      Yep, wish is why people like Spanner are probably the most dangerous through being so naive.

      1. Spanner1960 25 Sep 2011, 1:34pm

        I’d rather be naive than HIV+ through no fault of my own.

        1. Jock S. Trap 25 Sep 2011, 1:54pm

          Yet you call all else selfish but it is your naive attitude that kills.

  19. Craig Nelson 22 Sep 2011, 8:02pm

    The indefinite life time ban had some degree of justification when HIV/AIDS first appeared because people knew little about what they were dealing with.

    While sexually active gay and bi men are in a much higher risk group (even accounting for comparable lifestyles) I think the lifetime blanket ban is not justified and a mixture of use of questionnaires and the screening of blood (even though this may not be 100% effective) is adequate protection of the blood supply.

    I think the 1 year deferral is a good first step but we need to get to something that targets people at risk on the basis of sexual behaviour rather than sexual orientation and I am sure that that can be done and a number of countries are in the process of working on that and pretty soon the results (in the form of % increase or decrease of infected donations and increase or decrease of supply) will be in.

    Ultimately the policy on blood donations needs to be proportionate to the risk and not stigmatize people.

  20. It’s sad really, i have a straight brother who sleeps around with women all the time and now has two children and yet he can give blood. While for me oops i’m sorry! Gay people are a no no! Well screw them, i would never have unprotected sex unless in a long term relationship and i knew that my partner was clean. Still this is just one of the reasons i hate where i live and long for the day i lieave with having to ever look back.

    1. Sorry correction at the end.

      I hate where i live and long for the day when i leave without having to ever look back.

  21. Jock S. Trap 23 Sep 2011, 9:23am

    He has said that the current policy “should not be altered” because of safety concerns around HIV transmission.
    -
    Someone should really tell this bigot that unlike him HIV doesn’t discriminate. It seems they continue to block one group in society but include others that are just as likely to contract HIV.
    -
    Shameful when so many could be saving lifes.
    -
    All should be treated equally.

  22. If his genuine concern was about the risk of HIV trransmission, given that HIV transmission is now accepted by WHO and other eminent bodies as predominantly heterosexual, one would think that the correct measures (if one is to have a blanket ban type of policy) is only to allow homosexuals to give and not heterosexuals. Of course, that wouldn’t be fair because many heterosexuals are monogamous and have negligible if any risk of HIV. Strangely, government seems to be unable to see that many homosexuals are monogamous and/or have negligible risk of HIV, and are prepared to see a blanket ban on gays as proportionate and acceptable. Its discrimination and unfairness that has no basis in scientific fact or real risk. Time to change, time to learn from Poland, Latvia, Italy and Spain!

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