It looks like people are finally waking up; well at least in Canada, US & UK. Medical associations in these countries have asked for a review on the lifetime blood donor ban on men who have ever had sex with other men (even if the encounter took place many years earlier).
Those opposing the ban believe that the policy, which was introduced in the 1980s, today is only resulting in turning potential blood donors away. And not to forget, further propagating homophobic beliefs.
Two prominent HIV scientists from Canada have called for an end to the blanket ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men.
They believe it is out of step with science and is reducing the number of healthy donors whose blood could be saving lives.
Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Mark Wainberg and Norbert Gilmore note that the highly sensitive procedures now routinely used for testing mean it would be very hard for infected blood to slip through.
It was time, they said, to consider scrapping the old policy of “indefinite deferral” and look at asking men to wait between one and five years after having sex with another man before giving blood.
“The current policy is counterproductive in terms of loss of donors, loss of good will, student protests, donor boycotts, among other negative effects,” they write.
“We believe that any potentially negative consequences of a change in deferral would be offset by the benefits.” [Link]
Asking men to wait between one and five years….hmmm…not really encouraging, me thinks, but it is a progressive step. Demanding a policy review itself proves that those in prominent positions & the general public together, are voicing support for the minorities.
On a related note, the article mentions that in UK there are over 450 rules guiding blood donor selection. And still there has been no shortage of blood. Freaking bitch slap me a zillion times! I mean WOW. Which gets me to the point; what are the guidelines in India? I’m guessing – Have blood, will take! – Short and sweet.