100 signatures reached
To: Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS)
Let Gay and Bisexual men give blood in Ireland.
the IBTS need to amend their criteria on blood donation from a blanket ban of gay and bi men who have had sex with another man in the last 12 months to an individualized risk assessment.
Why is this important?
I am an 18 year old bisexual Irishman. I wanted to give blood as we are in crisis at the moment because there is a shortage of blood donations in this country. However, I have just discovered that because I have had a sexual relationship with a man in the last 12 months I am ineligible. I have been tested for all STI's including HIV in the past 3 months. I therefore am of no greater risk to a patient as any straight male or female my age.
This policy allows for the complete discrimination and ostracizing of a large community of men in Ireland for no reason other than an outdated unfounded belief that gay or bi men are in some way "tainted" or "dirty".
In 2001, the criteria for blood donor eligibility in Italy were modified by a ministerial decree from a permanent deferral for "men who have sex with men" to an individual risk assessment of sexual behaviours. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of this change in donor screening criteria on the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic among blood donors in Italy.
When comparing the period before (1999) and after (2009–2010), the implementation of the individual risk assesment policy in 2001, no significant increase in the proportion of men who have sex with men compared to heterosexuals was observed among HIV antibody-positive blood donors, suggesting that the change in donor deferral policy did not lead to a disproportionate increase of HIV-seropositive men who have sex with men.
in simpler terms, the change in blood donation policy in Italy did not increase the amount of HIV positive blood being donated. meaning that an individualized risk assessment is as good as a ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) this combined with the fact that an entire community of men were now able to donate blood means that it had an overall positive impact on the health care system in Italy
I believe the same thing needs to be done in Ireland. it needs to be done now. I urge you to sign this petition to allow gay and bi men to donate blood and lastly I leave you with this simple question.
If you were dying and needed my blood would you refuse it because of who I am?