The NUS Wales Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Student Campaign welcomes the end of the lifetime ban on men who sleep with men (MSM) donating blood. It is a policy that we believe has been inherently discriminatory and one which we have campaigned on for years. Tens of thousands of signatures and hundreds of direct actions have been run through the donation not discrimination campaign.
Donation Not Discrimination materials to download
The lifetime ban was originally introduced in the early 1980’s by medical professionals and others with the aim of reducing the risk of transfusion transmitted HIV and other infections. The ban meant that any man who has ever had oral or anal sex with another man even once and with a condom was banned for life from donating blood.
We believe that a lifetime ban was not only discriminatory but based on flawed research. In addition the lifetime ban served to promote prejudice and strengthen assumptions about gay men and HIV.
“The Donation of blood is crucial now more than ever with blood required for many things including the creation of medicines. For many years the NUS Wales LGBT Campaign has campaigned around this issue and support this move to end the lifetime ban”
While we welcome the end of the lifetime ban we are disappointed that the solution is a deferral period of twelve months. We believe that only those who participate in high risk sexual activity and do not use protection should be banned from donating blood. We are disappointed that the Government has not fully explored this option which would allow those men who sleep with men who do not participate in high risk sexual activity and who take precautions to donate blood as they often wish to do.
Now we seek clarity from the Government as to why they have replaced it with a deferral period of twelve months. It is critical that any research to support this is published fully so that it can be examined and critiqued appropriately.
"Although a twelve month deferral period is much improved on the previous lifetime ban, as an organisation we must work with others to call for the publication of this research to allow us to see the detail of the research that has gone into this decision and why still low risk men must still wait for the full twelve months”
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Campaign is one of five autonomous Liberation Campaigns within NUS Wales. These liberation campaigns seek to represent and empower individuals who experience disadvantage and discrimination, striving to reverse the oppressions that belong to a particular demographic group.
For further information, please contact NUSW LGBT Officer Ian Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org