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Another moving video of Dij Davies speech from the Liberal Democrats Party Conference this year on the motion for Lib Dems to support a complete lifting of the blood ban on Gay and Bisexual men.
The motion passed.
Great video from youtuber Tyler Oakley about the Gay and Bi Blood Ban (he talks about it from an American perspective) but the argument is still just as valid.
UPDATE: Today The Department of Health announced that as of November 7th 2011 the lifetime blood ban on gay and bisexual men will be lifted BUT instead replaced by a 12 month deferral period.
While this means men who once experimented years ago or just “tried it to see” will be able to start giving blood again, which is great news HOWEVER it does mean that the millions of gay and bisexual men who, just like their straight counterparts have physical and sexual relationships, will have to continue to face the stigma of being branded a high risk, dangerous and by default, HIV positive. This of course is not what Project Negative and many, many others think.
So boys, just as long as you never have sex, protected or otherwise with any other man and have done so for more than a year then you’re free in the eyes of the NBS and the Government to give blood…..what great news this is…..NOT.
The fact that gay or bi men practising purely safe sex by using protection still cannot give blood means we are less equal than heterosexual men and women. They, heterosexuals, protected or otherwise, can continue to freely give blood.
So you can see that there is still much to fight for.
Discrimination needs to be stamped out.
Sign the petition, started by Tom King, which we support here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/301
Whilst this is great progress and step in the right direction to ending the blood ban on Gay and Bisexual men this is still not good enough.
Yes, the new policy would allow some bisexual men that have perhaps settled down with a women for more than 10 years or even “straight” men that had dabbled in the past to give blood which is great (though you have to question whether they were open about this on the blood forms to begin with). It still however openly and actively discriminates against gay men (or those that are sexually active at least once every 10 years…….).
Think of a reaction to a policy where it said that only heterosexual men and women that have not had sex for 10 years can give blood….there would be no donors! We’re sorry NBS, but gay men are sexual and do have sex and we should not be punished for doing so when it is safe and protected.
Now with the Royal College of Nurses giving their full support and backing to the ban being lifted I hope we can progress much further than this superficial change, that on the surface looks like progress and in some ways it is, however it really doesn’t change much in regards to the fight for equality and ending discrimination.
Want some further reading? Peter Tatchel provides a great article and argument for removing the ban
It’s been more than a week since the Department of Health and Human Services’s Advisory Committee on Blood Safety ruled that gay men still can’t donate blood, but that hasn’t silenced debate on the issue.
On a Tuesday segment of The View, guests D.L. Hughley and journalist Thomas Roberts (host of The Advocate On Air) joined regular hosts Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Sherri Shepard in discussing the ruling in light of a recent Slate.com article.
The Slate piece questioned whether other groups with higher incidences of HIV infection should also be banned, citing, for example, that African-American women have an HIV rate nearly 18 times higher than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control (the FDA, a subagency of HHS, already bars persons born in sub-Saharan Africa from donating blood).
In a unanimous vote, the blood safety advisory committee also called the policy for men who have sex with men (MSM) “suboptimal,” however, and recommended that distinctions be made between low- and high-risk potential gay donors in an upcoming report to the assistant secretary of HHS.