Posted on Vice

The ‘Gay Blood Ban’ Isn’t a Social Issue – It’s a Medical One

Published: 15/05/2015

If you’re a gay man who has had sex just once in the last year, then the NHS does not, under any circumstances, want your blood.

It’s easy to frame this ban as a bigoted, hypocritical anachronism and one of the final legislative hurdles to total equality. I’m gay myself and getting angry about it feels like the obvious response, a knee-jerk reaction against a total injustice. It’s a sentiment I shared with others in the gay community.

The double standards are palpable, the insinuations perverse: if a married and monogamous gay guy has sex with his partner just once in the last year he’s deemed high risk and can’t donate, but it’s fine – ostensibly – for the promiscuous straight guy with a new partner every day to do so. With the NHS constantly urging more donors to come forward, it sends out a loaded message: we desperately need more blood, just not if it’s gay.

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