Stop blood donation bias!

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Seven years ago my grandad was involved in a serious accident and needed a major operation to save his life. He needed 8 pints of blood, but when I went to donate my own I was told that I was not allowed because of my sexuality. Ever since, I’ve been campaigning to change the blood donation policy so it’s based on individual sexual behaviour rather than sexuality.

At the time of the accident, any gay or bi man who’d had sex in the previous 12 months wouldn’t be allowed to donate. This was something I wasn't willing to accept, so I launched an organisation called Freedom to Donate to try and change this. Following years of campaigning, we helped introduce a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bi men in 2017, reducing the deferral period from twelve months down to three. 

But we want to go further. We have partnered with UNILAD for their Blood Without Bias campaign that asks the UK Government to scrap the three month deferral period, and to introduce an individualised, risk-based approach to assess sexual behaviour, rather than a simplistic, discriminatory process where people are grouped together on something as arbitrary as sexual orientation. We believe this is the best way to ensure that those who want to donate, and can do so safely, are able to.

This is not just about ensuring fairness and equality, but giving people the opportunity to help save their loved ones lives with blood donations. Not only that, it’s about the blood that we are losing each year by preventing healthy, willing donors from donating just because of their sexuality.   

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