LGBT activist launches blood service protest

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A former National Union of Students LGBT Officer is continuing his activism by launching an online petition against the UK’s ban on gay blood donors.

The petition, which runs until April, has so far received around 800 signatures.

It was started by James-J Walsh, former LGBT Officer of the National Union of Students. The petition echoes a campaign earlier this year against National Blood Service’s (NBS) ban on gay and bisexual donors.

The petition calls on the government to carry out a review of the NBS policies and overturn the current policy against gay and bisexual men and instead discriminate against unsafe sexual practices.

He said: “The polices of the NBS are outdated, making decisions as to whether or not your allowed to give blood on how honest you are.

Italy, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Russia and France have all repealed previous bans.

An NBS spokesperson told “We have had these policies in place for many years in order to maximise blood safety. All our blood is tested for HIV but no test is 100 per cent. This isn’t about discrimination, our policies are constantly reviewed to ensure blood supply is maintained and kept safe.”

The NBS points out that it also bars heterosexuals who have indulged in dangerous practices and anyone who has recently had acupuncture or lived in countries where HIV infection is rife

The petition can be found by clicking here