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Ending the Blood Donation Ban

Background

Liberal Democrats in government have pushed for a blood donation policy based on science, not stigma. Men who have sex with men are currently deferred for 12 months, which amounts to a ban in all but name for men in sexual relationships with other men.

  • The blood service accepts donations from members of groups where there exists a statistically higher risk of HIV and other blood-borne infections than amongst men who have sex with men.
  • Men in long term relationships with other men engaging in safe sexual practices are forbidden from donating blood while blood from heterosexual people, possibly engaging in riskier practices, is accepted. Some women married to bisexual men are barred from donating blood for sleeping with their husbands, even when their husbands are eligible to donate blood.
  • Current rules are based on the assumption of fixed, binary sex and gender identities and fall apart when applied to transgender people.

Current Federal Party Policy

Liberal Democrats believe the blood supply is kept safest by applying evidence based policy in a consistent manner. The current rules are based on outdated stigma against gay and bisexual men, and we sould ask SaBTO to review the rules around blood donation for men who have sex with men with this in mind.

Liberal Democrat Campagins

Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to end the Blood Ban since 2006, which lead to an update to the blood donation rules in 2011. We believe this change in the rules does not go far enough, particularly when it comes to female partners of bisexual men, and we continue to push for a more evidence-based approach.