The Australian Greens have written to Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson, calling for a review of the current 12 month blanket deferral for gay men and men who have sex with men wanting to donate blood.
Greens spokesperson for LGBTI Senator Robert Simms, said the current deferral period is discriminatory and should be scrapped:
"The Greens are concerned this blanket 12 month deferral on blood donations by gay men and men who have sex with men is discriminatory against a group of Australians," Senator Robert Simms said.
"Why should gay men who are practising safe-sex be prevented from donating blood? Your capacity to donate blood shouldn't be determined by your sexuality."
Medical testing for HIV has improved dramatically in the past few years, and the review committee set up by the Red Cross Blood Service acknowledged this in their report that called for the deferral period to be reduced to 6 months.
"I think most people would be shocked to discover that this kind of policy applies in 21st century Australia and that's why I've written to the Commissioner to bring it to his attention," Senator Simms said.
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