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Ireland: Non-sexually active gay man told he cannot donate blood

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  1. Good ol’ discrimination at work.

  2. GulliverUK 26 Aug 2013, 6:31pm

    The UK has an ‘effective’ lifetime ban for most gay men, if you don’t become celibate you can’t donate, but then that homophobic bigot Anne Milton MP was in charge of the review – so what can you expect from a Tory. Can’t wait until the election, the Tories homophobic discriminatory policy will be put under the spotlight – they have, in effect, done nothing. In theory this guy in the article, Tomas, could donate here in the UK, but pretty much nobody else. A couple who are in a committed monogamous relationship, which represents less risk than the heterosexual teen who sleeps with different women every weekend, can’t donate. It’s absurd. I hope the Tories try to use that at election time – it will destroy their campaign.

    Would love to know if the same thing would happen here in the UK.

    1. If you’re a bisexual man, it might make more of a difference. A little-known fact is that a man who has not slept with another man in more than a year is free to give blood, but if that same man sleeps with a woman, she is barred from giving blood for the next year. So I’m barred because my ex-partner slept with a man in 2002, even though he’s free to donate blood.

      1. GulliverUK 26 Aug 2013, 7:02pm

        Bizarre ! I didn’t know that. All these rules are completely useless, upsetting for people, discourage blood donation, and discriminate unnecessarily. All we need to do is test using the new blood tests – which can detect the HIV virus itself, i.e. not have to wait 2 weeks for anti-bodies to form. If we use a fool-proof testing method there is no need to ask anybody about anything. Some other countries are already moving towards this — again, because we have a Tory government, we’re not even bothering to look forward, and move to a progressive world-leading position.

  3. I know a number of gay men (sensible chaps, practise safer sex, get STI checks) who lie about their sexual history in order to donate blood. It’s one of the things that happens when you have a blanket ban. Perhaps awareness of this is why the Ireland clinic was being extra paranoid?

    The solution is to remove the blanket ban, and to ask more detailed questions about people’s risk factors, including sexual history, instead of making sweeping assumptions based purely on the gender of people’s sexual partners.

  4. I live in NI and it’s true there is a blanket ban on gay/bi men donating blood, but here’s the funny thing, the NI health service uses blood from the rest of the UK where there is no ban, so theoretically I can travel to England, donate blood, that blood could fly back the same day and be given to someone who needs a transfusion. Weird world!!

  5. My other half had to argue with the Blood Transfusion Service when he was 18 and before he was sexually active to get them to accept his blood.

    Absolutely absurd that on one hand they keep whining about not having enough blood and on the other turning away perfectly good low risk donors while accepting some higher risk donors (e.g. heterosexuals that sleep around without protection)

  6. The exact same is in the US. I’m older than dirt, Gay and have always believed in monogamous relationships. Haven’t had sex in 5 years (my average span between relationships). “Healthiest blood on the planet” a doctor recently told me. I never smoked, never did drugs, (try to) watch my diet. But, I stopped trying to give blood because I stopped being around people telling me I am a second class citizen.
    When I did try, every person told me in a whispered voice, “You don’t HAVE to tell us you’re Gay.” I’d reply not so quietly, “Well, you don’t have to ask me if I am. I am Gay. It’s your loss, not mine. Don’t come crying to us if you run out.”
    And yet, they will take a street whore with every STD and drug in her veins.

    If I were in my 30’s, I’d be marching and protesting, but those days are gone. All I want to do now is open a small shop in a rural town, hopefully with someone special. Canada perhaps. If the world goes to Hell in a handbasket, fine. I didn’t put it there.

  7. Surely they test blood that’s donated?

  8. Well, I am also gay and I have been told I cannot give blood because of my sexual activities. As GulliverUK says, the 12 months ban effectively is a lifetime ban. I’m ok to give blood, so long as I am not active (basically in a relationship).
    I hate this and it is so wrong. There are so many statistical reasons that say we are unsafe. Heres another, look at the NHS stats. Back people share the same statistic of risk as gay men, exactly the same, however they can give blood. Why? If its not about discrimination and just the ‘stats’, then why? Well, because it is clearly wrong to exclude a person from giving blood, effectivley because of the colour of their skin. So, because they do ban gays, but not blacks clearly implies a wrongful discrimination, and must be because of of sexual choice, rather than activity. I have contacted a lawyer and they have decided I have a case. They are pursuing a discrimination case against the NHS!

  9. Oh, and I have been to the GUM clinic (so has my partner) and I can provide evidence that I am perfectly clean, however they still will not take my blood.

  10. In the UK it also means a tissue donation ban. So, when I die I cannot give my organs. I am on the organ donor register, but I may as well give my organs to a dog, because the NHS wont take them. So, what does this mean? If my brother is dying and needs my kidney, as its the only match, they will not take it thats where I take legal action and do them for manslaughter.’Im sorry madam, your son died today from severe blood loss, as we did not have enough blood to give him. Im so sorry, however there were hundreds of healthy young men wanting to give blood to save your son, but we had to turn them away, however we did all we could to save him’.

  11. …this is rather strange because, especially non-sexually-active gays are cleaner even healthier than say married couples…so what was the discrimination for in the first place??…I feel it’s, people believe that if you’re gay you’re automatically a less healthy person! Pathetic…

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