Life saving blood does not discriminate, people do
By: Jim Kane
Finally, after many years Canadian Blood Services submitted an end to this policy. The policy banned men who have sex with men from donating blood. In the early days of the Aids Pandemic, no test was available to detect HIV, and little was known. During this time “tainted blood” was a transmitter of HIV Infection. Many hemophiliacs who were using blood products became infected and died of AIDS. A few years later my friend from Nova Scotia Janet Conners, testified at the Tainted Blood Inquiry. Her late husband had contracted AIDS from Blood Products, and she herself is a long-term survivor
My friend Janet Conners states:
“A whole generation of gay men have been banned from a quintessential Canadian activity…..the ability to donate blood. They have been discriminated against because of who they are. The Canadian Red Cross and the Canadians Blood Services refused science, based on two very important facts.
- There is no sexually transmitted infection which exists solely in the gay community
- Activity created a risk of infection, not the person. They chose to be discriminatory for the reason of public relations, not science.
They have not earned, nor do they deserve congratulations for overturning this policy.”
The long and the short of it in my view is that once a test was available to screen blood, this should determine if it is used in the blood supply, not whom a person chooses to love. In my experience, HIV is an equal opportunity infector, the virus does not discriminate, people do. We are finally getting to a place where we are following the Science and not the Fear.