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Stephen Gilbert: End blood ban stereotypes

September 20, 2011 10:45 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

"Millions of men up and down the country could be potential blood donors and many of them wish to help people in need by donating blood. They are prevented from doing so by the stigma that all men who have sex with men engage in disproportionally risky behaviour.

"Liberal Democrat Conference has today called for an end to stereotypes dominating decisions on who can donate and who can't. When it comes to donating blood, the safety of those receiving transfusions must always be paramount. Rather than issuing blanket bans, decisions should be based on an assessment of the risk which the behaviour of an individual poses regardless of whether they sleep with men or women.

"Given the importance of the safety of donated blood, Conference is also calling for more to be done to ensure the blood bank is safe through increased levels of screening."