The campaign to force groups like the American Red Cross to overturn policies banning gay blood donations has been going on longer than this website has been published. And while Queerty has made the case before to get the FDA to allowing “gay tainted” O-neg and B-pos before, the situation in Australia has become almost comical.
There, a U.S.-based leading blood expert only last year claimed that merely a kiss between two gay men was enough to ban both folks from donating blood for the rest of their lives. (“They increase their chance of transmitting an infection such as HIV,” said former Red Cross exec Dr. Paul Holland.) Even Thailand has more progressive policies.
But for now, it’s more of the same in Australia, where news arrives that the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal said it will uphold the ban on gay blood. Gay blood activist (is there such a thing?) Michael Cain has been lobbying the organization to eliminate the ban. They won’t, claiming the Red Cross must act on “the worst case scenario,” even though the Tribunal finally owned up to the fact that all gays are not sex-addicted whores.
Says Cain: “I am pleased the Tribunal has agreed with my fundamental claim that there are monogamous, safe, gay men who have a lower HIV risk than some of the straight people who can currently give blood. It’s disappointing that they have not followed through on this conclusion by allowing these men to donate, but it’s a step in the right direction that I and other people will build on. This was a knife-edge decision in which the Tribunal erred on the side of caution, but given how much of my case it agreed with, I am confident the next time this matter goes to court the outcome will be a new policy. The Red Cross’s absurd claims that all gay sex is very high risk because gay men are all sexually irresponsible and promiscuous are now officially dead and buried.”