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Protest against Northern Irish gay blood donation ban

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  1. Poots has repeatedly shown himself to be a homophobe – irrespective of blood donations, so it is not surprising that he adopts this unscientific position (that his advisors and the advisors of the UK Government disagree with)

    The evidence is that prohibition from blood donation on grounds of behaviour and not orientation results in safer blood supplies. There is clear irrefutable evidence in Spain, Italy, Latvia, Poland and elsewhere to demonstrate this.

    As his views are not grounded in scientific reason – the only reason for barring principally on grounds of orientation has to be discriminatory and prejudiced.

    1. If he thinks high risk behaviour should be why people don’t give blood then all the more reason to shake up the current system – it shouldn’t allow someone who has multiple unprotected sexual partners from giving blood.

      The only foolproof way of doing it is make sure everyone is abstinent for the window period and have a blood borne viruses test then take their blood after the results are known.

    2. Spanner1960 4 Aug 2012, 7:51am

      I agree the man is a blatant homophobe and is using the blood ban as a vehicle for his petty-minded attitudes.

      Nonetheless, he is doing the right thing, albeit for the wrong reasons.

  2. I would like Poots to explain to me why he considers me to be ‘high risk’ when I am married and have been monogamous for 13 years. I know with great certainty that my blood is healthy and could help to keep someone alive. I have even been urged by loo donation officials to donate and lie about my sexuality, but I will not do that. The guidelines should go on sexual behaviour, not sexuality!

    1. Tht should read ‘blood’ not ‘loo’…

    2. Spanner1960 4 Aug 2012, 7:53am

      Nobody is saying “you”. Everybody is saying “we”.
      There are always going to be exceptions to the rule, but as a group demographic, gay men are top of the hitlist, always were, and until some major change in our behaviour as a group (which I very much doubt) – we will continue to remain there.

      Sorry to tar you with the same brush, but nobody said life was fair.

      1. When tested for, the absolute maximum HIV remains undetectable in the blood is six months, in 96-98 percent of cases it’s detectable after three months, so even if one decides that men who have sex with men (msm) can’t be trusted to practice safe sex and “probably have HIV”, then a lifetime ban is still completely unjustified. For that matter, so is the one year ban in England and Wales, which assumes basically the same as the lifetime ban does just with slightly less hysteria. Either that or the reliability of their blood testing isn’t good enough to guarantee their blood supply is uncontaminated, in which case they probably have much greater and more general problems.

  3. Another DUP moron. They certainly know how to make fools of themselves!

  4. He’s playing to the reactionary Unionist gallery, and playing with public health in order to do it. Contemptible.

  5. someone who is minister for health of a country should imo not be a politican but be a qualified medical professional with experience and take the advice of doctors and nurses and medical journals – not someone with no medical training consulting prejuidices, priests or scripture.

  6. its called Derry!

  7. On the other hand, HIV infections are rising year on year. Gay guys just don’t care any more.
    Also, you could just lie on the form when donating blood is you really wanted to.

    1. Billy wingartson 4 Aug 2012, 1:42am

      the real point is that blood is tested multiple times before use. This was an old problem when aids was not recognized

      BTW jack – in the usa , sorry to say it, the largest % of people with aids are black women – due to poverty and drug use by their menfolk.

      the group with almost zero AIDS is gay women. it should be obvious why.

      1. Spanner1960 4 Aug 2012, 7:55am

        Sorry Billy, but you are demonstrating your ignorance here.
        Virtually nobody in the UK has AIDS simply because we ensure the correct medication is available for HIV+ people.

        However, that may well not be the case in the US.

  8. Billy wingartson 4 Aug 2012, 1:39am

    maybe we should label blood from gay people and give a receipient the choice of whether they want it or not.

    if they dont want it they go to the end of the list. this is one way that we can get rid of some of these bigots and for a change have them, instead of gay kids committing suicide.

    Its a double good deal.

    1. Spanner1960 4 Aug 2012, 7:58am

      Don’t be daft. Do you seriously think your little bag of donated blood goes all the way to a patient? Once it is tested, it is mixed with other donations of the same group, and often red and white cells, platelets and plasma are centrifuged off for various other products and treatments.

  9. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention state that

    “if gay and bisexual men who practised safer sex were allowed to donate, one HIV-positive blood donation would be likely to slip through the clinical screening process once every 5,769 years.”

    That’s once between now and the year 7781.

    HIV infections dramatically reduced AFTER the orientation based ban was LIFTED on blood in a number of nations. In Italy, for example, over approx 10 year, went from 24 people while the ban was still Active to around 4 last couple of years.

    If risk is the issue. Permitting men who identify as gay but have been celibate for years and have no other reasons not to give blood – is not dealing in risk – its dealing in prejudice and is denying the blood service access to blood.

    If risk is the issue – then monogamous same sex couples should not be prohibited – monogamous heterosexuals are not. Monogamy is risk averse. You may say – “Ah! but how does anyone other than them know if they

    1. are monogamous?”. True, but how does anyone know if a heterosexual is monogamous other than them – and they can donate – so clearly it is not risk that is being judged but falsely driven prejudice – that many scientists now consider actually falsely increases the risk.

      This ban does not improve safety and is based purely on false prejudice and discrimination. Orientation does not determine risk.

      A promiscuous heterosexual male is a higher-risk donor than a gay or bisexual man in a monogamous relationship.

      People need blood – lets sensibly, and in a risk averse manner, ensure that maximum safe supplies are available.

      Scientific risk is determined on grounds of behaviour not orientation, race, gender etc

      Surely, we should be seeking the safest system and thereby learning from Italy, Spain, Latvia etc Surely, the least risky system results in fewest issues of transmission of BBV?

    2. Here is a great article explaining why blood donation should be dealt with on a risk basis – not a prejudgement based on orientation!

  10. Do they accept donated organs from gay guys? Or do they just dump them instead when he’s a ‘confirmed homosexual’?

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