Man denied chance to donate blood
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.