Thursday December 1st 2022
US PROPOSAL TO LIFT GAY BLOOD BAN CAUTIOUSLY WELCOMED
UK AND CANADA PROVIDE BEST MODELS OF AUSTRALIA
The Let Us Give campaign has welcomed news the United States may lift its ban on blood donation by gay men
But the group expressed caution about the conditions that could apply and says the existing model in the UK and Canada is the one Australia should adopt.
Currently, the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service requires gay men, and bisexual men, trans women and some non-binary people who have sex with men, to abstain from sex for three months before donating.
In response Let Us Give has recommended individual risk assessment for all donors.
Let Us Give spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,
“We welcome the US Federal Drug Administration’s consideration of lifting that country’s gay blood ban.”
“We call on Australia’s blood authorities to also look seriously at this country’s outdated bans.”
“But we are concerned that under the US model gay men may still be singled out for special questioning, and that the focus of these questions will be on monogamy, not the key risk factor of anal sex.”
“In the UK and Canada, all donors are asked the same, simple question: ‘have you had anal sex with a new partner in the last three months’.”
“Because that question is asked in a non-discriminatory fashion and focuses on the actual risk behaviour, we support its adoption in Australia.”
Let Us Give has repeatedly asked the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service to conduct a review of Australia’s current bans but there is no evidence this has occurred.
Earlier this year the group released a report on the latest research and policy from around the world which showed there would be no meaningful risk from allowing gay blood donation and which recommended the UK and Canadian model.
For a news report: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/30/health/blood-donation-gay-bisexual-men.html
For a copy of the report: https://www.letusgive.com.au/research
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668