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Thursday 09 October 2008

AUS: 'Public confidence' in gay blood ban

Posted in: International Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 30th September 2008

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A senior HIV researcher says Tasmania's ban on blood donations from gay men is "conservative" but maintains "public confidence."

The Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal met again yesterday after a two-week recess to gather more information. Tasmania currently has a one-year ban on sexually active gay men donating blood – a rule many see as discriminatory.

Professor John Kaldor of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research told the tribunal that although gay men who have protected intercourse are at lower risk of HIV infection, their risk is still higher than for heterosexuals who have unprotected sex.

He also said there is virtually no risk associated with gay oral sex and that a year-long abstinence for gay men wanting to donate blood is "conservative" given that HIV can be detected nine days after infection.

However, he supported the current 12 month blanket ban, which he said maintains "public confidence".

The case continues this week.

More on this story is on the links below.