HIV expert compares blood ban to racism

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The director of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria has likened the Australian Red Cross ban on gay blood donations to racist discrimination.

Associate Professor Anne Mitchell gave evidence today at the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal taken by gay would-be donor Michael Cain.

Mr. Cain seeks to have the Australian Red Cross’ ban on gay men donating blood lifted.

Electronics technician Michael Cain, 21, of West Launceston, was rejected as a donor in October 2004, after replying “yes” in the Red Cross questionnaire to whether he had had gay sex in the past 12 months.

Speaking at the tribunal today, Professor Mitchell stated that high-risk sexual activity was not as widespread as some studies claim.

She said: ‘The most compelling evidence of all for the effectiveness of safe sex is the simple fact that…when safe sex was taken on by men who have sex with men the escalation in infection rate was pegged back.

“This made it immediately clear that the risk of HIV infection was not associated with male to male sex per se, rather it was associated with unsafe male to male sex.”

For the full story from Pink News, go here.

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