3 out of 4 Gay and Bisexual Men Would Donate Blood If They Were ‘Allowed’
According to The National Blood Service, last year they received 2.1 million donations from about 1.6 million donors. Although that sounds a lot, it reflects only 4% of the population, giving two or three times a year.
The NHS needs a constant supply of 7,000 units of blood each day for hospitals across the UK, this equates to at least 2.5 million donations every year, leading to a deficit of 400,000 units of blood each year.
Members of the free gay dating website ManCentral.com were asked if they would donate blood if they were not restricted by the policies of the National Blood Service. An overwhelming 77% of respondents said they would donate blood if they were permitted to do so. Of the 23% who said no, various reasons were provided such as a fear of needles, previous blood transfusions or other family medical conditions such as CJD.
According to the National Blood Service any man who has had sex with another man is unable to give blood due to the risk of transmitting viruses such as HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis during the 3 month ‘window period’ when tests can’t detect these viruses in the blood. However this ‘window period’ is the same for everyone regardless of gender and sexuality. Interestingly, members of Man Central who admit to only sometimes practising safe sex were the least likely to agree to donate blood. This suggests that gay and bisexual men are intelligent enough to judge for themselves if they can safely donate blood.
ManCentral.com was launched in 2008 and has over 133,000 members