User:Aw570/Gay men able to donate blood as controversial lifetime ban lifted in the UK

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Friday, September 9, 2011

A complete ban preventing homosexual and bisexual males from donating blood will soon be lifted in the United Kingdom.

The UK Department of Health said Thursday that the lifetime ban will be lifted in November.

However, the ban still restricts those who have had anal, or oral sex with another male in the last 12 months from donating.

The decision follows a scientific review by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, which concluded that improved testing, as well as evidence on how many people ignore donation guidelines, left the ongoing exclusion unjustified.

The review also suggested that “Much of the concern and opposition around the current lifelong deferrals for blood donation are based on a sense that they are discriminatory and reflect prejudice and stigma.”

Countries including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Sweden allow gay men to donate blood under similar conditions. Despite this, the U.S and Canada still enforce a complete ban on homosexual men from donating blood.

The lifetime ban was introduced in Britain in the 1980’s in response to the spread of AIDS and HIV, and has long been classified as discriminatory by Gay Rights Campaigners.