Wednesday May 6th 2020
NEW BLOOD BAN CAMPAIGN TARGETS HEALTH MINISTERS
Advocates have launched a new campaign
to remove the gay and transgender blood bans.
Just.equal and PFLAG are encouraging supporters of a non-discriminatory blood policy to write to Australia's health ministers who are currently considering changes to existing blood donation policy.
Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"The current ban on sexually active gay men and transgender people giving blood should be replaced with a new policy that screens donors for sexual safety rather than gender of sexual partner."
"This would make the blood supply safer, more abundant and less discriminatory, which is particularly important at a time of medical emergency like now."
"In the United States, hundreds of health professionals and mainstream politicians have spoken out against the ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men, and now it's time for Australians to have their say as well."
National PFLAG spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said,
"I have a gay son and a straight son and I want them both treated equally by society, which includes being able to save lives by donating blood.
"The current gay blood ban is based on the assumption that gay sex is always risky and straight sex is always safe which is nonsense."
Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, which sets blood donation guidelines, has proposed to reduce the celibacy period before gay or transgender people can donate from twelve months to three.
All federal, state and territory health ministers must sign off on the change before it takes effect.
But advocates say the change doesn't go far enough and now is the time to rethink blood donation policy
"A three month celibacy period won't remove discrimination or substantially increase the supply of safe blood."
"It's time for Australia's health ministers to consider a more effective blood donation policy which focusses on what actually creates disease risk: unsafe sex."
Currently, any man who has sex with a another man in the last twelve months is precluded from donating blood. The same goes for any trans man or trans woman who has had sex with a man.
The new letter-writing campaign can be found here:
A letter from senior US politicians calling for the lifting of that country's gay blood ban can be found here:
A letter signed by 500 American health professionals calling for the gay blood ban to be lifted can be found here:
A graphic promoting the campaign is included below.
For this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Shelley Argent on 0409 363 335.