QLD Health Minister Calls Gay Blood Ban To Be Scrapped

The Queensland health minister is calling for the ban on gay men donating blood to be scrapped. 

The current restrictions prevent gay men, bisexual men and transgender women who have sex with men are not allowed to donate blood. 

An exception to the ban can only occur if the donator abstains from sex for a period of three months. 

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The ban was put in place around the 1980s when the HIV infection was prevalent. 

The “plasma pathway” was introduced by the Australian medical regulator in May which would require “individual risk assessments” to be performed on any person wishing to donate plasma. 

While plasma donation is now easier for LGBTQIA men and women, the Let Us Give campaign believes that this reinforces the “second-class status for gay donors”.

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Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman is now calling for the federal government to introduce a “more inclusive approach to blood donation in Australia”.

The request written to federal health minister Mark Butler asked for individual risk assessments to be applied to whole blood donations. 

“We know that many people who could safely donate blood, and who want to help others, are unable to do so under the current rules,” Fentiman told The Guardian. 

“I was pleased to see that [Red Cross] Lifeblood is removing donor deferrals for plasma donations, and removing barriers for whole blood donations would be a further step in the right direction.”

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