ENDING GAY BLOOD BAN WILL BOOST BLOOD SUPPLY
INDIVIDUAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF ALL DONORS WILL MEAN MORE SAFE BLOOD
Allowing gay men to donate blood would help solve Australia's blood supply crisis according to LGBTIQA+ advocacy group, Just.Equal.
Just.Equal Australia spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
"Just.Equal wants Australia to follow the path of many other countries, including the UK, Canada, France and Germany, by adopting a a blood donor policy that focusses on risky sexual activity, not gender of sexual partner."
"Those countries have dropped their old ban on blood donation by gay men, and bisexual men and trans women who have sex with men, and instead assess every donor for their individual risk."
"By our estimate, the adoption of individual risk assessment in Australia would result in an extra 25,000 litres a year to save the lives of Australians in need."
"Individual risk assessment would also make the blood supply safer because it would pick up heterosexual people who are at high risk."
"This is particularly important at a time when rates of HIV among heterosexual Australians is increasing."
"Individual risk assessment is a win/win because it removes discrimination and increases the supply of safe blood."
Lifeblood has made it easier for people with tattoos to give blood and has sought permission to do the same for people who lived in the UK when Mad Cow Disease was a problem.
Mr Croome called on Lifeblood to urgently conduct a review of the current gay blood ban with a view to adopting individual risk assessment.
Just.Equal commissioned its own report, conducted by Dr Sharon Dane, which examined the medical evidence for replacing the current ban with individual risk assessment and endorsed the move. The report can be found here: https://www.equal.org.au/recommendations_msm_blood_donor_deferrals
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668