Make a difference: Give blood, save a life (or three)!

datePosted on 18:31, March 5th, 2009 by Anita

Earlier this week the restrictions on blood donors changed, and some people who previously couldn’t give blood are now allowed to donate. This includes some men who have had sex with men and some people who have worked as prostitutes.

So, if you have wanted to give blood but been on the restricted list, check again because you might be ok to donate now.

If you’ve thought about giving blood but never quite got around to it, get in touch with the Blood Service and donate!

If you’ve donated in the past but haven’t donated in the last 3 months, get in touch with the Blood Service and donate!

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Wellington’s really short on donors right now (so short they rang me today, the first possible day I could donate) so I’m sure the blood service would love to hear from all of you

P.S. They have not changed the restrictions on residence in the UK, France and Ireland.

3 Responses to “Make a difference: Give blood, save a life (or three)!”

  1. gingercrush on March 5th, 2009 at 22:15

    Deferrals for sexual behaviour are based on what you do or have done and not on sexual orientation.

    You must not give blood for
    FIVE YEARS:
    • Following oral or anal sex with or without a condom
    with another man (if you are male).

    I don’t mean to be rude. But how are those of us who are homosexual and have had sex meant to give blood. Because while I’m sure there are many homosexual men that either don’t have sex or lets say mutually masturbate or other sexual activity other than oral and anal sex. But the majority of homosexual men do engage in such sexual activities and we are still stigmatised.

  2. Anita on March 5th, 2009 at 22:21

    gingercrush,

    I got this really helpful answer from the Blood Service last time I asked (and it’s pasted into the comments of that thread)


    1. Men who have sex with men – MSM

    The primary responsibility of New Zealand Blood Service is to ensure that blood supplied to patients is as safe as is practicable.

    In common with other international blood services this is achieved by a combination of donor selection criteria and testing of donated blood. In the context of blood borne viruses, including HIV, donor selection criteria are based on the known pattern of blood borne viruses in the community. Currently in New Zealand sex between men is the most frequent identified cause of both HIV infection and AIDS. On this basis men who have had sex with other men in the last ten years are prevented from donating blood. Similar measures are in place in other developed countries.

    Current policies have been demonstrated to be highly effective in preventing transfusion transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses. Indeed since 1985 when testing was introduced no case of transfusion associated infection has been reported relating to product transfused in within New Zealand.

    During 2007 an independent expert review was commissioned by the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) of donor criteria used to identify individuals at increased risk of acquiring significant blood borne infections. The review was initiated in response to a number of complaints to the Human Rights Commission from gay men alleging that some of the deferral criteria are discriminatory. The expert panel was lead by Professor Charlotte Paul of the Otago University Department of Social and Preventive Medicine. The group included experts from the NZ AIDS Epidemiology Group, the NZ AIDS Foundation and an Ethicist.

    The full report of the review can be seen on our web site.

    New Zealand Blood Service has accepted the findings of the report and will be implementing changes to the donor behaviour criteria from 1 March 2009. This will mean that any men who have anal or oral sex with men with or without a condom will be deferred from giving blood for a period of five years.

    For an further independent analysis of the review outcome please take a look at this article published by the NZ AIDS Foundation.

  3. Ari on March 6th, 2009 at 12:16

    If you lived in the UK, France or the Republic of Ireland for a total of six months or more between 1980 and 1996 then unfortunately you will be permanently deferred from donating blood in New Zealand.

    Looks like I’m still not allowed :(

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