LONDON, UK, June 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) - Active homosexual men in the United Kingdom are deliberately breaking a regulation that bans them from giving blood if they've had sexual contact with men in the past three months. While the rule is designed to keep the blood bank safe from blood-borne diseases, the active homosexuals are donating blood anyways, calling the measure "discrimination" and "homophobic."
Victoria Derbyshire reported yesterday on her morning news programme that active homosexuals are violating the rules set for blood donation. An investigative journalist for the show discovered that this is because these donors feel it is wrong for the National Health Service to discriminate against men who are homosexually active with other men.
According to the regulations set for England, Wales, and Scotland, men cannot donate blood if they have had sexual contact with men in the past three months: this is to prevent the possible transmission of HIV, a blood-borne disease.
"When a gay man is giving blood, they have to tick a box to say that they have complied with these rules," Derbyshire explained, "but we have found that some are lying on that form."
Investigative journalist Ben Hunte reported for the show that he had recently interviewed six homosexually active men across England who had all donated blood.
One young man interviewed pseudonymously for the programme said that he was "galled" when he heard public advertisements for people to give blood, "when there's a huge section of society that is denied that for no good reason."
"I grew up in a family who gave blood regularly and instilled in me that that was the right thing to do," "David" told Hunte.
"I did it before I started having sex with men, and I carried on doing it afterwards because, for me, that was the right thing to do," he continued.
"David" takes a pill called "PrEP" every day, which he believes will keep him safe from HIV, and uses condoms, which lowers his risk of catching other infections, Hunte reported. The blood donor also thinks his homosexual activities are safer than those of any "heterosexual" he knows, and he has given blood several times over the past year.
"I don't see why I should be denied the right to help fellow people," "David" said and indicated that he thought the current rule was based in "deep homophobia."
Another young man who engages in homosexual practices, called "Ryan" on the show, admitted to donating blood illegally for ten years.
"It's not nice almost to be discriminated against," he said. "And you know that you are doing something that you shouldn't be doing but at the same time, morally, you are helping somebody."
Other homosexuals told Hunte that they broke the rules around giving blood to "fight the system."
The NHS Blood and Transplant service depends "entirely on voluntary donations," Hunte reported. The NHS checks all donations for infections, but says the "three-month-rule" exists because their tests would not be able to detect all infections in the first three months after a donor had contracted it. Meanwhile, not only homosexuals, but prostitutes, and "people who engage in group sex" are not supposed to give blood during the three-month window after their last sexual encounter.
Su Brailesford of the NHS Blood and Transplant department told the journalist that "the guidelines are there for a reason."
"The main reason [is] the vulnerable patients receiving this blood," she said. "I would really encourage people to follow the guidelines, even if they don't agree with them."
Brailesford underscored that "MSM"--men having sex with men--are still "disproportionately affected by HIV," and that the department is concerned about other blood-borne viruses, too.
According to the NHS, about 101,000 people in the UK were living with HIV in 2015.
"About 13,500 of them don't know they have it and are at risk of passing on the virus," the national health service warned.
It stipulated that "gay men are one of the highest risk groups."
There has also been a rise in the number of cases of syphilis reported in the UK, primarily affecting MSM. Researchers blame the rise on Grindr and risk-taking after using such club drugs as crystal meth.
An LGBT rights group, "Freedom To Donate," which worked to reduce the wait time window to 3 months, is also concerned about homosexuals breaking the rules, Hunte reported.
Stephen Doughty, a homosexual Labour MP who is on parliamentary committees about both the blood service and AIDS, told Derbyshire that he did not endorse what the rulebreakers were doing. He pointed out that sexual behaviour is not the only reason why people are asked not to donate - illness and recent travel to certain countries are among other reasons for exclusion from blood donation.
Until the rule for the mainland UK changed in 2017, the NHS used to stipulate that active homosexuals had to abstain for a year before donating blood, and this is still the rule in Northern Ireland.
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