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Lorely speaks out on the "blood ban"

June 13, 2006 11:14 AM

The Liberal Democrat Spokeswoman for Women and Equality has called for a review of the ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, which also affects the female partners of bi men.

Speaking ahead of World Blood Donor Day tomorrow, Lorely Burt MP said: "Anyone who has ever given blood should be applauded for their invaluable service saving the lives of others.

"The Government needs to look very carefully, however, at whether the current exclusion criteria are the most fair and effective way of ruling out individuals at high risk of HIV and other infections from giving blood.

"This ban can only be justified on medical evidence that inclusion of these individuals substantially increases the transmission risk of HIV and other infections. The Government must review this evidence on a regular basis, considering all the latest screening tests that may make the ban redundant.

"It seems perverse that the current criteria allow a woman to give blood even if she has had hundreds of sexual partners, but exclude a man who has had safe sexual relations with another man only once many years ago."