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"Donation not Discrimination"

November 1, 2006 12:51 PM

DELGA has welcomed tomorrow's National Union of Students national campaign day on the ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, and their female partners. The campaign, "Donation not Discrimination", involves a nationwide wave of awareness stalls, petition-signing, but also encouraging those who are allowed to donate under the current rules to do so.

DELGA Executive member Jen Yockney commented, "The ban is an anachronism from the early 1980s when the transmission of HIV was still not properly understood. It is mistaken, because it restricts blood donations based on sexual orientation rather than sexual behaviour. That was an understandable approach in those early days, but our grasp of HIV and AIDS has moved on a long way since then. For many years now it has been clear that what matters is not who you are having sex with, but how you are having sex."

"The blood donation rules, through their blanket-ban approach, blur the message about safer sex as well as needlessly restricting the supply of blood. Change is long overdue."