It is heartening to hear that the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service is changing its rules for blood donation to allow gay men who have been in a same-sex relationship for three months or more to give blood as part of its Fair Project.
However, among the questions that everyone being screened to donate blood will be asked is the following:
You will have to complete a Donation Health Check and will be asked whether, over the last three months, you have:
Had sex with anyone who has had syphilis, hepatitis or anyone who is HIV positive?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you are unable to give blood right now.https://nibts.hscni.net/fair-project/
U=U Undetectable = Untransmittable
To me, this does not seem to line up with the U=U Undectectable means Untransmittable message that we have been hearing about from the HIV health professionals for quite some time. Perhaps the Blood Transfusion Service doesn’t believe this message.
While I accept that I will probably never be able to donate blood again as I am living with HIV, I should have thought that my husband, who is HIV-negative, should be able to do so as I am undetectable.
Will the NI Blood Transfusion Service look at its rules again? I will be writing Karin Jackson, the Chief Executive of NIBTS to seek clarification.