Pink News is running a story on the ‘gay blood ban’. They challenged challenged the National Blood Service to ‘explain why it continues to discriminate against any man who has ever had sex with another man’.
I went on to the National Blood Service website where you can work through a series of questions to see if you are eligible to give blood. Sure enough, question 12 asks ‘Are you a man who has had oral or anal sex with another man (even if you used a condom). If you select yes you receive the message ‘thank you for your time but it seems that you are not able to give blood’.
The report goes on to note that the Campaign group BloodBan.co.uk has branded current guidelines “outdated and discriminatory” and called for an overhaul of the policy. Read the full story at: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-7064.html
Meanwhile a story emerged in Canadian news that Canadian Blood Services is conducting research to determine whether it should lift its total ban on blood donations from gay men. Read that story at: http://news.sympatico.msn.cbc.ca/Blood+agency+studies+lifting+ban+on+gay+donors/Health/ContentPosting.aspx?isfa=1&newsitemid=blood-gay&feedname=CBC-HEALTH&show=False&number=5&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=False
This comes after The Advocate reported that Canada’s two blood-collection agencies decided Thursday to uphold a lifelong ban on donations from gay men. Read that story at: http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid52550.asp
I await the results of the Canadian study with real interest. Though uncomfortable with it, I support he ban at present on the basis that the safety of our blood supply is of paramount importance but we should keep an open mind on this issue.