Fairer blood rules

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

Your item con­cern­ing Paul Te Pue, who was turned away when he sought to do­nate blood be­cause of his sex­ual pref­er­ences [ KMN, May 8] made in­ter­est­ing read­ing.

In fact this mat­ter is al­ready the sub­ject of a ref­er­ence to the Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion by this or­gan­i­sa­tion some three years ago.

It is cur­rently ad­journed pend­ing some over­seas de­vel­op­ments which will po­ten­tially change the whole man­ner in which the cri­te­ria for blood do­na­tion are ad­min­is­tered.

In the mean­time, your readers may be in­ter­ested to know that the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions date from a pe­riod when lit­tle was known about the ori­gin of HIV AIDS and the means of its trans­mis­sion. We are far down the track from that, all blood is tested for this and other vi­ral in­fec­tions by one of the most re­li­able tests known, and there has never been an in­stance in this coun­try of blood be­ing re­jected for that rea­son.

The prob­lem is re­ally one of chang­ing man­age­ment to a new set of cri­te­ria in a way which re­as­sures blood re­cip­i­ents the blood sup­ply is as safe as it can be.

In due course I hope that Mr Te Pue will be able to do­nate blood along­side his other fel­low cit­i­zens

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