Discrimination against potential gay blood donors

By Melissa Wong

Homosexual men are still being discriminated by law as they are still not qualified to be a blood donor. It is an issue still disputed by the gay community as the reasons given appear unjustified. Many feel that it is an invalid reason for them not becoming blood donors.

In the guidelines listed on the National Blood Service, it clearly states that a man cannot qualify as a blood donor if: ‘You’re a man who’s had sex with another man, even safe sex using a condom.’ This elimination of a potential blood donor is listed alongside others that include prostitutes and drug users. blood-donor

Further details, validating this decision, state that if homosexual men were included as blood donors, the risk of spreading HIV- infected blood would increase by ‘five-fold’ even if the man had not been involved in any sexual activity for over a year. Yet this has been argued as untrue and not scientific evident has been brought forward to proved this.

It should be questioned why gay men should be excluded because of their sexual preference. All heterosexual donors are allowed to donate blood, despite potentially having multiple partners. It appears unjustified that they are allowed to donate blood if they are potentially putting themselves at risk of becoming infected by HIV or AIDS.

Whilst blood donors are urgently sought for in Britain, the law should be reconsidered to decide whether gay men should be allowed to volunteer as blood donors. If all the necessary checks have been made, it seems unfair to turn away a prefect blood donor just by the judgement of their sexuality.