National Blood Transfusion Service

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Conference
2008 National LGBT Conference
Date
25 July 2008
Decision

Conference notes that men who have sex with men are still barred from donating blood in an official capacity to the National Blood Transfusion Service, whether you are a ‘practising’ homosexual or not.

Conference also notes that the need for blood donation is continuously highlighted in the press and media and that only 6% of British people actually give blood. The ongoing discrimination faced by men who have sex with men who wish to give blood is no longer justified.

The UK Department of Health has been advised that from an analysis of 2.5 million blood donations about 30 donations were confirmed to be HIV positive. Two thirds of the men that donated tested HIV positive were heterosexual. A third were revealed to be gay men. Some had donated blood for the first time, some had donated blood at least once before in the last three years and shown to have tested HIV negative.

Research into sexual practices proves that it is specific behaviour, rather than a person’s sexuality that increases risk to Sexually Transmitted Infections. Therefore, having a blanket ban on men who have sex with men donating blood is highly discriminatory and prejudicial in its application.

Conference acknowledges the hard work done so far in getting this ban changed but call on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender committee to renew its efforts in making more vigorous the changes required. We ask that Conference is updated on what progress has been made so far to lift the ban and ask that this motion be referred to UNISON National Health Service Group Executive.