ADVOCATES WELCOME U.S. STEP TOWARDS LIFTING GAY BLOOD BAN
The Let Us Give campaign has welcomed a proposal from United States' blood authorities to remove that country's gay blood ban and adopt individual risk assessment.
The group has called on Australia's Red Cross Blood Service, which has said it will take two years to review Australia's gay blood ban, to move quickly to adopt the same policy.
Multiple US news sources report
that country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to follow the UK and Canada by dropping the requirement that gay men, and bisexual men, transgender women and some non-binary people who have sex with men, are sexually abstinent for three months before giving blood.
Instead, the FDA has proposed all donors, regardless of sexuality or gender, should be asked if they have had anal sex with a new partner in the last three months.
Spokesperson for Let Us Give, Thomas Buxereau, said,
"Medical evidence shows replacing the current gay ban with individual risk assessment will not make the blood supply less safe but will open up a new source of safe blood."
"If Australia is out of step with the UK, Canada and the US it will create confusion in Australia about who can donate and who can't."
"The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service doesn't need two years to conduct a review."
"There is ample evidence available for the Red Cross to act quickly."
One of the concerns raised by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service is that individual risk assessment will mean that some existing donors will be screened out by individual risk assessment and the blood supply will decrease.
But author of a recent review of the current clinical evidence, Dr Sharon Dane, said,
"A large-scale study across Canada's blood collections centres found that less than 1% of existing donors would be deferred by an individual risk assessment policy and this would be made up for by new donors."
"The Canadian study showed conclusively that individual risk assessment does not diminish the blood supply, and on that basis Canada adopted an individual risk assessment policy."
The US FDA proposal will be open to public consultation before being implemented.
For a news report:
For a copy of Dr Dane's review:
Sign the petition here:
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Thomas Buxereau on 0415 896 884 or Dr Sharon Dane on 0403 895 268.