Similar to the #PutRedBack campaign, 4 interns at a creative advertising agency have also created a campaign surrounding the shocking truth that gay men cannot donate blood. Currently in the UK, gay men are restricted from donating blood unless they have abstained from sex for 12 months prior to donation. At a time when blood donations are at a ten year low, a group of interns created a campaign called BloodPact to highlight the issue. It features well-known LGBT activist and YouTuber Calum McSwiggan and X-Factor contestant Anton Stephans.
Despite the UK facing a severe blood shortage with over 100,000 donations still needed to meet demand this year, gay men are still discouraged from giving blood due to outdated guidelines. Over 6,000 donations of blood are needed every day to meet demand. One pint of donated blood can help save up to 3 lives, and more would be saved if gay men could donate.
Therefore the interns decided to do something about it in the hope that one day the harsh and unreasonable restrictions will change, and everyone will have the right to save lives. As many people know the gay male population in the UK is a huge untapped resource, yet despite the law change in 2011, gay men must still abstain from sex for 12 months in order to qualify as a donor. While any heterosexual man or woman can have as much sex as they like and still give blood, gay men in long term monogamous relationships are still discouraged from donating, even though nowadays all donated blood is screened for infectious blood-born pathogens.
2011 was the last time that the Government reviewed the restrictions but a lot has changed since then, and it’s time to talk about it. The interns support the #FreedomToDonate’s petition to the government to review the regulations on who can safely donate blood.
Sign the petition here.