On the Occassion of World Blood Day, SASOD and GuyBow did a joint letter to the Medical Director, National Blood Transfusion Service, which was copied to
The Minister of Health
The Director of PANCAP
The PAHO Country Rep
The Country Co-ordinator of UNAIDS
The following letter was sent to the press
On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, we are
pleased to note that the National Blood Transfusion
Service has asked the media to work with them to
encourage more voluntary donors.
Please permit us to highlight, through the media, a
serious case of stigma and discrimination which the
NBTS indulges in , which perhaps would prevent
voluntary blood donations.
The NBTS it seems, has a public policy of refusing
blood from the following persons.
Men who have sex with men
men who have sex with men and women
Women who have sex with women
amongst others. SASOD recognises that the NBTS is
linking the HIV/AIDS epidemic, to gay and lesbian,
regardless of evidence to the contrary which shows
that women who have sex with men are the most
vulnerable, while women who have sex with women are
least vulnerable to the HIV epidemic.
SASOD hopes that the National Blood Transfusion
Service will correct their perceptions. It is expected
that the Minister of Health who is the custodian of
the National AIDS policy will also ensure that
prejudices are not perpetuated throughout the health
system, regardless of the source of the donor funds.
They have to test all blood for HIV anyways, and it is
now accepted that HIV is spread through any kind of
sexual contact, not only through homosexual contact.