Tweet-powered rainbow sculpture protests gay blood ban

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A ‘tweet-powered’ sculpture has been unveiled to protest the restrictions on gay and bisexual men giving blood.

At present in England, Scotland and Wales, men who have sex with men (MSM) are banned from giving blood unless they abstain from sex for 12 months.

In Northern Ireland, MSM remain banned for life from giving blood, as the country’s DUP Health ministers have repeatedly ignored medical advice to keep a permanent ban in place.

However, campaigners have urged all parts of the UK to adopt a system that does not discriminate based on sexuality – instead adopting a system that evaluates based on individual risk, as employed in other countries.

At the London Design Festival, ad agency Cheil UK this week launched a unique tweet-powered sculpture that protests the ongoing blood ban.

The sculpture features seven tanks filled with liquid in the colour of the Pride flag – but with the red section empty, signifying the blood ban.

People can help to fill the red section by tweeting #PutRedBack, and signing a petition against the ban.

The sculpture requires 100,000 people to use the hashtag in order for the red section to be restored.

Matt Pye, chief operating officer at Cheil UK, added: “Blood doesn’t discriminate over sexuality, it just saves lives.

“Given that one-in-four Britons will rely on donated blood at some point in their lives, it’s time that the law based the right to donate on behaviour, not sexuality.

“By partnering with Freedom to Donate we hope to see the conversation on the blood ban reach new heights and #PutRedBack become a force for good.”

The installation is on display at the London Design Festival in Somerset House until September 27.