British gay men allowed to donate blood under draconian rules

British gay men allowed to donate blood under draconian rules. 44011.jpegThe ban on gay men in Britain donating blood is being lifted because it was decided that the rule could be discriminatory and might breach equality legislation.

But these men will only be permitted to donate if they have not had sexual intercourse for a decade. Homosexuals who are or have recently been sexually active will continue to be barred from giving blood. Anne Milton, the public health minister, is expected to announce the changes within weeks and she is understood to be backed by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, and Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister, News-medical reports.

Medical organizations have long warned that the issue is not one of "equality" but of hard medical facts. One homosexualist organization estimates that of the approximately 86,500 people in the UK who have HIV, 42 percent are homosexual men.

Donated blood is screened for HIV and other infections, but a small percentage of infected blood can slip through the screening process. There is no system of policing, and an honor system is observed in screening donors for infection risks. Homosexuals are also at significantly higher risk for carrying Herpes simplex virus, Human Papilloma virus, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. A study undertaken in Seattle in 1999 found that 85 percent of cases of Syphilis were among active homosexuals, LifeSiteNews says.