Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

News

UK lifts total ban on gay men donating blood

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

LONDON, April 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British authorities have lifted a lifetime ban for homosexual men to donate blood.

The issue has been close to the centre of the homosexualist political agenda for years, with activists claiming that a ban on homosexuals donating blood is discriminatory. Today the coalition government announced that the ban will be lifted.

The new policy, announced by Anne Milton, the public health minister, will allow men who say they have not had homosexual relations for ten years to donate blood.

The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed minister saying, “A complete ban is unfair and discriminatory but we need to protect public health, so the ten-year rule is what is being considered.”

The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) reportedly told the public health ministry that a time limit of five years would increase the risk of blood supplies being contaminated by five percent, according to the Times. This would be halved if donating blood is restricted to men who have not had homosexual relations for ten years.

Medical organizations have long warned that the issue is not one of “equality” but of hard medical facts. One homosexualist organization estimates that of the approximately 86,500 people in the UK who have HIV, 42 percent are homosexual men.

Donated blood is screened for HIV and other infections, but a small percentage of infected blood can slip through the screening process. There is no system of policing, and an honor system is observed in screening donors for infection risks. 

Homosexuals are also at significantly higher risk for carrying Herpes simplex virus, Human Papilloma virus, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. A study undertaken in Seattle in 1999 found that 85 percent of cases of Syphilis were among active homosexuals.

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