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| Bradshaw & Bryant PLLC

I often remind all of my readers about the importance of giving blood. It’s something that I try to do each time the 56 days passes that you need to wait between giving. One of the times that my reminder posted on my Facebook page, I had a friend remind me that many of her Gay friends were prevented from giving.

I was glad to hear that possibly this ban is being looked at. Presently, a man is prohibited from giving if they have had sex with another man within 12 months. In many cases, that is a permanent exclusion. In Australia, they relaxed the rule to 6 months. The change has not impacted the finding as the National Blood Service screens all donations for HIV and other infections. However, there is a "window period" after infection during which it is impossible to detect the virus.

The change is a good step , but as Stonewall has suggested:

A gay man in a monogamous relationship who has only had oral sex will still automatically be unable to give blood but a heterosexual man who has had multiple partners and not worn a condom will not be questioned about his behavior, or even then, excluded.

As the medical and the social changes develop, hopefully this will be less and less of a barrier to giving. Blood is a vital need and excluding good healthy blood, with for no real medical reason doesn’t make any sense.

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