Radio Atticus 10 November 2011

The UK lifts the lifetime blood donating ban on men who have sex with men, and the shocking report card for the New South Wales approach to supporting victims of domestic violence.

The lifetime ban on donating blood for men who have sex with men has been lifted in the UK. The UK Department of Health announced the changes in September, implementing a one-year deferral period. This means that gay men who have had not had sex for a 12 month period, from next week will be able to donate blood. This brings the UK into line with Australian rules on donating blood.

Gay rights campaigners have said gay men would still be treated unfairly under the new rules implemented, as heterosexuals engaged in higher risk sexual activity are not subject to the same restrictions. Many argue, including the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, that in this context, sexual behaviour should not be confused with sexual orientation.

Reporter: Justin Ellis
Guests

  1. Rob Lake, Executive Director, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations.

The NSW Auditor General has issued a damning report on the States failure to provide an effective response to domestic violence. In addition to the personal suffering of domestic violence victims, the report says that domestic violence has contributed to 26 deaths on average a year, police repeatedly being called out to the same families, and a $4.5 billion annual loss in economic activity. The report has found most victims still do not report the incidents to police, and those that do are unlikely to get a lasting solution because of an uncoordinated systems response.

Reporter: Justin Ellis
Guests

1. Gaby Marcus, Director of the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearing House.