The New Zealand AIDS Foundation is backing a draft recommendation for the ban on gay and bi men giving blood being dropped from five years after they have had sex with another man, to one year. A team invited by New Zealand Blood Service to carry out a review says the stand-down period should be cut to a year, citing the fact Australia has had a twelve month stand-down for the past ten years, with no evidence of HIV transmission. It adds that advances in donation testing and handling mean errors have now been virtually eliminated from the system, and the biggest risk of HIV entering the blood supply is during the very early ‘window period’ when it can’t yet be reliably detected. The review group says there has also apparently been a high level of compliance with the five year ban among gay and bi men. “Based on the evidence provided in the draft Blood Donor Deferral Report, NZAF supports the proposal to reduce the deferral period for gay and bisexual men from 5 years to 1 year in New Zealand” says Shaun Robinson, NZAF Executive Director. The Foundation says the Review Committee is meeting again this week and it would like to leave further comment until after the committee has finalised its recommendations.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Thursday, 12th December 2013 - 10:17am
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