9 May 2017
Wales Green Party Welcomes Change in Blood Ban Law
The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) is expected to recommend the new set of rules when it gives evidence to the Department of Health in July.
Wales Green Party was heavily instrumental in obtaining the review of the 12 month deferral period of blood donations for homosexuals and their female partners.
Pippa Bartolotti, Deputy Leader of Wales Green Party said, “This extended ban on giving blood was highly discriminatory. With modern testing methods in place it is entirely possible to shorten the risk period from 12 to 3 months. Wales Green Party and Green Pride presented our claim to the Welsh Government almost a year ago, and we are delighted that our campaign has been taken seriously. The new deferral period means that a large proportion of our population is now able to safely give blood after the new risk period of 3 months has been completed.”
Adam Smith, former spokesperson for Welsh Green Pride said “As founder of the campaign #takemyblood I'm over the moon that the Advisory Committee has gone with one of the recommendations we submitted, the effort and hard work myself and fellow Welsh Green Pride and Wales Green Party members put in to this campaign has finally paid off. It's good to see that grassroots campaigning does have a positive effect and the travelling from Newport to Cardiff and early morning trips to London have been worth it.”
Welsh Green Pride deputy speaker, Mike Whittall, said, “ I am pleased to see the ban being reviewed by looking at the science. The blanket ban has seen some tragic consequences. The science tells us that promiscuity raises the risk of hiv infection. I'm hopeful that this review results in better management of risk of hiv infection. It could present an opportunity for health care professionals to engage with at risk individuals, whoever they love, providing guidance in taking care of themselves and reduce their risk of infection.”
Pippa Bartolotti, who is also Parliamentary Candidate for Newport West added, “This is a significant victory against discrimination. Not every gay man is a high risk individual. We are very proud to have been the ones to kick-start this review, and thrilled that SaBTO has taken our campaign seriously. The new rules will assess risk more fairly, and are far more respectful to our gay community.”
Homosexual men and their female partners were banned from donating blood in the UK in 1985, at the height of the HIV AIDS crisis.