• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 7:25am
NewsHong Kong
HEALTH

Let gay men donate blood, says lawmaker

Raymond Chan argues other countries' donor services have stopped bar on homosexual men

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 7:27am
 

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18 Jul 2013
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The Hospital Authority, which helps the Hong Kong Red Cross manage its blood donation services, is studying the feasibility of allowing homosexual men to donate blood, according to a gay lawmaker who was barred from donation yesterday.

People Power lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen tried to donate blood at a donation service in the Legislative Council yesterday.

Many countries already allow homosexuals to donate blood if they have not had sex in a year
People Power lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen

"I was given a questionnaire in which a question asks if I have had sex with a man. I ticked the box," Chan said. "Then a doctor explained to me that statistics and foreign examples show that blood from men who have had sex with men show a high risk [of HIV]."

The doctor then told Chan that some countries had relaxed the rules and now permit homosexual men who have not had sex over a certain period of time to donate blood.

The authority is also studying this possibility but no conclusion has been drawn yet, Chan said.

He said the authority should only bar those who have had unsafe sex and were involved in promiscuity instead of "unreasonably" barring all men who have had sex with other men.

"Many countries already allow homosexuals to donate blood if they have not had sex in a year. That is what is happening in Britain and Australia," Chan said.

Many homosexual men who practise safe sex and who wanted to give blood might choose to lie about their sexual orientation, he added.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service said an expert panel set up by the Hospital Authority regularly monitors the international trends on blood donation criteria as well as medical advances in order to "review guidelines on blood donation criteria".

The panel had studied figures from the Department of Health which showed sexually active homosexual men pose a relatively higher risk of contracting HIV than other groups of people.

That is why the expert panel had so far decided not to allow this group of people to donate blood, the spokesman added.

Prospective donors are also required to give other details, such as health problems, to avoid any health risks for recipients. Currently, people who have recently travelled to North America may not be allowed to donate for fear of West Nile Virus infection.

 

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5

This article is now closed to comments

Giwaffe
Aren't they supposed to verify the donated blood is clean before accepting it anyway?
captam
So lets eliminate blood donations by any one who eats raw seafood..... we might catch hepatitis.
( that's at least 50% of the population)
Next ban anyone ( including their unsuspecting spouses) who has ever been with a prostitute or hostess (many more than most people realize) .
Eliminate any person having sex outside marriage ( you never know how many other partners your trick has had previously)
Oh dear !....................... we don't seem to have much blood left in the blood transfusion bank.
ninacheung
Under the current guidelines, I am more worried about blood donated by heterosexual people indulging in sex with different partners, with prostitutes, and/or while under the influence, which mars their judgment. That is supposed to be safer than blood from a responsible, healthy gay man in safe monogamous relationship?
smtnoble
Please be accurate in your descriptions. "Safe" sex does not simply mean sex with a condom, which has a known failure rate -- that is "safer" sex. "Safe" sex means mutual lifetime monogamy.
Safeguarding the many immunocompromised recipients of blood products is not "unreasonable".
sjfore
Thus sayeth the bigot.
 
 
 
 
 

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