Unabashed Heterophobe (paulnolan) wrote in ontd_political,
Unabashed Heterophobe

Shock as council refuses to endorse gay blood donation

Labour controlled Nottingham City Council made the shocking decision this week to remove references to gay and bisexual men from a motion celebrating World Blood Donor Day.

The motion highlighted discrimination against gay men from donating blood. It also urged the council to lobby the National Blood Service about scrapping the policy.

Councillor Alex Foster, who proposed the motion, told Liberal Conspiracy that the rules on blood donation should be changed to reflect the real risks.
The UK Blood Service is currently reviewing its policy in relation to gay men donating blood. The NHS has already decided that it’s safe for gay men to donate bone marrow and semen, and to carry donor cards, but hasn’t yet made its decision about blood. I thought it was important for the City Council to join a number of voices lobbying the NHS about the signals that discrimination sends.
The story was first highlighted on the Nottingham City Council LOLs blog (also on Twitter).

Alex Foster, a Libdem Councillor, has also written about the proceedings on his blog.
I’ve been tested. I can be more sure than many people that I am HIV negative. I take precautions. I also think that the aforementioned former sex workers are also more likely to have been tested for STIs and know they are clean, so they too should be able to draw on their personal experience and their personal knowledge when it comes to deciding whether they are safe to donate blood.
He said the blood donation discrimination “sent a signal” to people with old fashioned views that “it is OK still to discriminate”.

In the UK, men who have ever had sex with men are excluded from donating blood. However, several developed countries such as Spain, Australia, and New Zealand have alternatives to blanket bans.

Last year the gay rights group Stonewall changed its position after a two year review and called for the UK blood services to apply the same risk assessment to homosexuals as it applies to heterosexuals.

As Richard Bradley told me:
It is ridiculous that a monogomous gay man who has only ever practised safe sex cannot donate blood while promiscuous straight man who never uses a condom and travels to NYC (heterosexual HIV epidemic there) can donate blood.

Liberal Conspiracy
Tags: health, homophobia, uk

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