Blood Ban

Okay most of ye may have seen the article I posted here at ( by Dr. William Murphy, the National Medical Director of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS). I have given blood once before I came out in University College Cork and I carry a donor card, but since I came out all I can do is carry the donor card. Therefore, the health service will not take my blood but their willing to take my organs. That is a bit strange.

The Union of Students of Ireland, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (USI LGBT) Campaign has been protesting against this ban for a long time. By organising protests at college’s where blood drives are occurring, lobbying and posters (Picture right)

Around the globe national blood transfusion services are gradually moving away from a lifetime ban on homosexual men. In the US gay men who have been celibate since 1979 can give blood and in other countries those who have not engaged in high risk sexual activities from one year to five years previously can give blood.

The IBTS admits it is been discriminatory towards men who have sex with men, but also claim that is discriminatory towards other groups; IV drug users and those who lived in England or Northern Ireland between 1980 to 1996.

The IBTS main reasoning for continuing the ban on men who have sex with men is that as HIV entered the blood supply mainly through Gay and Bisexual men that new infections will enter the blood supply the same way.

Dr. Murphy correctly points out that vCJD (food borne infection) and SARS (airborne infection) are the newest disease to affect humans. The chances of another infection entering the blood supply through gay and bisexual men are slim.

The IBTS admit they are discriminatory but then is outright homophobic on its reasons for not dropping the ban on men who have sex with men. When will they change? Only through lobbying of the IBTS and Minister of Health can we get the IBTS to change its policy towards gay and bisexual men. So get writing to your local T.D.’s, Senators and the IBTS to get this policy changed.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for and UCC Express.

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