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Gay blood ban is based on science

Published 17/12/2015

There has been much fulminating from Sinn Fein, Alliance et al on the lifetime 'gay blood' ban, with the blame being directed at the DUP.

A number of points should be made. Most countries in the world currently have such a lifetime ban; Northern Ireland is far from unique.

Let's be clear - the rest of the UK, the Republic and every country with deferrals still has a ban on active gay men giving blood.

Blood donation organisations across the world have very similar lists of high risk groups - men who have sex with men, drug users, sex workers etc. All the science and evidence still points to all the above groups being deemed high risk. These groups have a higher chance of carrying HIV.

If testing has improved dramatically to such an extent that bans and deferrals are no longer required, then the question has to be asked: why are Sinn Fein and Alliance not asking for the lifetime bans to be removed from all such high-risk groups?


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