Australia court ruled Red Cross not required to accept blood from homosexual donors

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On May 27, 2009, an Australian anti-discrimination court ruled that the Red Cross policy of not accepting blood donations from sexually active gay males did not discriminate against that group. Petitioner Michael Cain tried to donate blood in 2004 but was refused after he affirmatively answered an inquiry into whether he "had male-to-male sex" during the past 12 months. The stated policy reason for not accepting petitioner Michael Cain's blood donation was the increased risk of undiagnosed HIV infection in donors who had recently engaged in "male-to-male sex." The same rationale is used in many countries, including the US, to deny blood donations from gay men. The United Kingdom (UK) lifted its lifetime ban on blood donations by men who had engaged in homosexual intercourse in September 2011.

Learn more about legal issues surrounding HIV from the JURIST news archive.

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