CANADA LIFTS GAY BLOOD BAN INCREASING PRESSURE ON AUSTRALIA TO FOLLOW
AUST LIFTS MAD COW BLOOD BAN BUT KEEPS GAY BAN
Health Canada has approved an application from the Canadian Blood Services to drop the three-month abstinance requirement for gay men and adopt a new policy that assesses all donors for their individual risk.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, called the old policy "discriminatory and wrong".
Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"We welcome the new Canadian policy because it will increase the supply of safe blood and reduce discrimination and stigma."
"Australia is falling behind comparable countries and must replace our gay blood ban with individual risk assessment as soon as possible."
"Canada joins the UK, France, Germany and a number of other countries that have dropped their gay blood bans and adopted individual risk assessment."
"The global move away from banning gay blood donors is because research shows it reduces the amount of safe blood available."
"Gay blood bans also fail to ensure maximum safety because the rate of new HIV infection is increasing among heterosexuals and decreasing among gay men."
The new Canadian policy asks all donors if they have had anal sex with a new partner in the last three months regardless of their partner's gender, whereas the previous policy asked men if they had sex with another men in the past three months.
A Just.Equal report by Dr Sharon Dane to Australia's blood authorities outlining the latest research and developments overseas is attached.
Mr Croome said,
"If Australia's blood authorities can lift the Mad Cow ban, the least they can do is conduct a review of the gay ban."
"If the current gay blood ban continues despite all the evidence against it, the global movement to drop it and an end to other bans like the one linked to Mad Cow disease, the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service risks tarnishing its good reputation."
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668 or Dr Sharon Dane on 0403 895 268.