Petition organisers say current blood donations policy treats gay men’s blood as “dirty.”
Two LGBT+ rights activists are calling on the Minister of Health David Clark to ease restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood in New Zealand.
Troy Mihaka, co-founder of Integrity New Zealand; and Luke Redward a queer rights advocate, have launched a change.org petition asking that MSMs (men who have sex with men) be required to wait no longer than the time required for HIV testing to be effective.
Currently, MSMs are required to wait 12 months since having oral or anal sex (with or without a condom)
Mihaka and Redward say the current policies are discriminatory towards gay men.
“To treat heterosexual blood as “clean” while seeing homosexual blood as “dirty” is blatantly homophobic and is a clear disconnect from modern New Zealand. As wardens of our democracy, the Government should ensure that all New Zealanders are treated fairly and equitably” a statement on the petition website reads.
The two specific requests from the petition are that “Men who have sex with other men should have to wait no longer than the time required for HIV testing to be effective” and that “queer men in long-term monogamous relationships should be free to donate, and not assumed to be promiscuous.
New Zealand’s two-year after-sex wait for gay men is at the stricter end of the spectrum, with the United States, UK and Canada all requiring a three-month stand-down period, the United States recently made the change as a direct result of the COVID 19 pandemic.
There is a four-month stand-down period in The Netherlands, Denmark and France.
The petition can be signed here.