Blood Campaign - Blackpool Lib Dems Join Day of Action
The National Blood Service is suffering a continuous shortage in blood; this is despite a multi-million pound advertising campaign to encourage people of all ages, genders and ethnicities to give blood - what you may not be aware of however is the policy of the National Blood Service to deny donations from:
- Any man who has ever had either anal or oral sex with another man.
- Or, any woman who has had anal or oral sex in the last twelve months with a man who has had either anal or oral sex with another man.
This is despite ALL donated blood being screened vigorously for any sign of infection.
It does not matter whether the anal/oral sex was protected or not.
It is regardless of whether the willing donor is in a long term monogamous relationship.
Irrespective of whether the prospective donor can prove they are clear of all possible infections/risks and, Does not ever take into account how long ago the anal or oral sex took place (in the case of men) many older men are excluded from 'experimenting' in their youth.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Young People believe this policy is extremely outdated, pointless and clearly discriminatory against Gay and Bisexual Men and have therefore initiated the "if we could - we would, so please do it for us" campaign.
Aimed at encouraging people to give blood whilst educating them as to why they cannot the group have planned an afternoon-of-action at a Blackpool
South blood donation session on Wednesday 15th March 2006, with banners, leaflets, a petition and very moving visual display showing just how much blood goes to waste. The group will be joined by Anchorsholme Lib Dem Councillor, Jon Bamborough.
Cllr. Jon Bamborough, Vice Chair of Blackpool Councils Young Peoples steering Group said: "It is this kind of out dated discrimination that we should all be fighting against. I believe there are enough safeguards in place already to protect the blood supply, this policy is just pandering to the bigots."
At no point throughout the campaign will the group tell people not to give blood - they want as many people to give blood as possible but want to explore why they cannot despite all the screening precautions in place, and they want to gain as much support as possible.