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Ver la versión completa : Bloody Prejudice



José Benito
09/11/2006, 15:36
http://www.petertatchell.net/

BLOODY PREJUDICE
The National Blood Service is stereotyping gay men as modern-day "Typhoid Marys" by rejecting them as donors.

The Guardian - Comment Is Free – 3 November 2006

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http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2006/11/gay_blood_ban_shame.html

Gay blood is banned by the National Blood Service (NBS). No man who has had oral or anal sex with another man - even just once, with a condom - is allowed to donate blood.

When I recently volunteered to be a donor, I was advised by the NBS: “Sorry, Mr Tatchell, you cannot give blood.” Why not, I asked. “We don't accept donations from gay men,” said the NBS.
The NBS gay ban is based on the unscientific, homophobic presumption that all gay and bisexual men are 'high risk' for HIV, regardless of their individual sexual behaviour.
The ban is being challenged, with the launch of a new campaign by the National Union of Students, supported by the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!
According to the NBS, a man who has had oral or anal sex with another man only once in his life, perhaps more than 40 years ago, long before the beginning of the HIV pandemic, is prohibited from donating blood.
The ban also applies to men who have never had unprotected oral or anal sex; having always used a condom. Even a man whose same-sex experience is limited to a few sucks behind the bike sheds when he was a schoolboy is banned as a blood donor.
The NBS policy is based on crass generalisations. It lumps together all gay and bi men, without differentiation, as if we are all the same. We're not. There is a wide diversity of same-sex behaviours and lifestyles. Some of us are at risk of HIV, and some of us are not.
Many gay and bisexual men stick rigorously to safer sex, always using a condom. Others have been in long-term monogamous relationships (since before the AIDS epidemic began). A minority of queers have given up sex and chosen celibacy. If men in these categories test HIV-negative after having abstained from risky behaviour for at least six months, their blood is safe. Indeed, their blood is much safer than that of swinger heterosexuals who sleep around and rarely use condoms but who are, under NBS rules, still allowed to donate blood.
he blanket ban on gay and bisexual blood donors stereotypes all queers as modern-day 'Typhoid Marys'. It brands us all as one homogenous, diseased mass. If the transfusion service made similar sweeping judgements about the Jewish community, there would be an outcry. The NBS is promoting the homophobic myth that all queers are the bearers of contagion and death.
Although quick to reject blood from risk-free gay and bisexual men, the NBS happily accepts donations from promiscuous heterosexuals who have lots of unprotected sex with many different partners.
A straight businessman who regularly travels to the US , and who has unsafe sex with large numbers of women in a city like New York (where there is a massive HIV pandemic), is at high risk of HIV. In contrast, a gay man on the isolated Shetland Islands who has had only a few same-sex encounters in his life - all limited to very low-risk active anal sex with a condom - has almost no chance of getting HIV. According to the NBS, the high-risk straight businessman can donate blood, but the low-risk gay man cannot.
The NBS insists that even same-sexers who always use a condom are banned. But if safer sex cannot safeguard the blood supply, why have AIDS organisations been telling us that safer sex can stop the spread of HIV and save lives? Either safer sex works or it doesn't.
France , Russia and South Africa recently lifted the blanket ban on blood donations from gay and bi men. They have concluded that their blood donor policy should be based on differentiating between risky and non-risky behaviour, regardless of sexual orientation. The NBS should follow their example. There is no medical reason why same-sexers who consistently practise safe sex, and who test HIV-negative, should be banned from giving blood.