Could Gay Blood Donor Screening Hurt Blood Supply?

A gay man’s lawsuit against Australia’s Red Cross continues.

The man, Michael Cain, calls the Cross’ ban on gay blood discriminatory, while the non-profit insists the restrictions are in the nation’s best interest. Because, you know, the gays may have the AIDS.

A medical expert last week testified that lifting the ban would not put the public at risk: regular screening would guarantee HIV tainted blood slipped through only once every 197 years. Others have suggested the Cross could simply screen gay men who have risky, unsafe sex.

That argument, however, came under fire yesterday, when a doctor testified rigorous, subjective screenings may actually harm the blood bank…

An Australian blood bank expert says changing the donor policy to allow sexually-active gay men to give blood could reduce the nation’s blood supply.

Doctor Brenton Wiley told Hobart’s anti-discrimination tribunal today that the incidence of HIV infection among gay men is more than 1,000 times higher than regular donors.

Doctor Wiley told the Tribunal such detailed questioning would be time-consuming and could reduce the nation’s blood supply, as donors would walk out.

Really? Asking someone about their sex life will be so time-consuming that donors will simply leave? If people are going out of their way to give blood, we have a feeling they’ll stick around or plan accordingly.