National debate about gay blood donations heats up


Gay men are still banned from donating blood by the red cross

Gay men are still banned from donating blood by the red cross

Taking the front page of today is an article about the possible change regarding laws on allowing gay men to donate blood.

As a former blood donor with a reasonably rare blood type who who is banned from donating blood (spending more than three months in Britain between 1980 and 1996 will get you banned) I think that the issue is worth debating.

For me personally, being banned from donating blood affects my ability to act as a citizen, as I always saw blood donations as a civil duty, kind of like voting. Since my ban, I’ve engaged in discussions with doctors and health professionals regarding the usefulness of a blood bans, and have had several of them admit that the usefulness of blood bans is pretty shaky. (What if I had spent 2 months and 28 days in the UK?)

Should the ban on gay men’s blood be continued due to their (still) higher rates of HIV/AIDS than heterosexual men? Should risky sexual behaviour be screened instead of sexual identity? Are gay men being singled out? What’s your opinion?

Read the full CNN article here.

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