Man de­nied chance to do­nate blood

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Paul Te Pue says he is ‘‘shat­tered and an­gry’’ that he can not do­nate blood be­cause of his sex­u­al­ity.

The New Zealand Blood Ser­vice was based at Pataka on April 26 and Mr Te Pue de­cided to do­nate for the first time. But his of­fer was turned down af­ter he told the nurse he was gay.

‘‘How can they judge some­one on who they’re sleep­ing with, es­pe­cially when [ NZBS] are scream­ing out for blood do­na­tions?’’

Mr Te Pue says he has reg­u­lar doc­tor’s checks and is ‘‘very care­ful’’ when he has sex.

The New Zealand Blood Ser­vice has had firm guide­lines in place for ‘‘de­fer­rals’’ – those who can­not give blood – since an in­de­pen­dent re­view in 2007. The re­view fol­lowed a num­ber of com­plaints to the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion al­leg­ing that some of the de­fer­ral cri­te­ria were dis­crim­i­na­tory.

A full re­port of find­ings ac­cepted by NZBS in 2009, is avail­able on nzblood. co. nz. It de­ter­mined men can’t give blood for five years af­ter hav­ing sex with an­other man, had sex with a pros­ti­tute out­side New Zealand, or af­ter liv­ing in a coun­try with a high risk of HIV in­fec­tion.

A spokesper­son for the ser­vice told Kapi-mana News they aim to pro­vide ‘‘a prod­uct that is as safe as pos­si­ble’’. The de­fer­ral cri­te­ria are be­havioural and are based on what peo­ple do or have done, not on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, he said.

‘‘ The risks of blood- borne viruses in sex be­tween men is the most fre­quent iden­ti­fied cause of both HIV and AIDS. Peo­ple get up­set from time to time but you can’t have an in­di­vid­ual set of rules.’’

Mr Te Peu said he was still con­sid­er­ing con­tact­ing the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion to get an ‘‘of­fi­cial ver­dict’’.

Bad blood: Paul Te Pue is dis­ap­pointed he can­not give blood be­cause he is gay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.