Blood donations are in serious need across Ireland. Roughly 3,000 donations are needed every week yet only 3% of eligible people actually donate. Despite this, gay and bisexual men are barred from donating if they have had sex with another man in the last year. This is based off (and perpetuates) outdated stigma surrounding LGBTQ men and HIV. Straight donors who may have been exposed to HIV are still allowed to donate. Blood Action Now seeks to change that. Those who wish to be able to donate blood, and can donate safely, should be able to do so. Through an online and print campaign, this project aims to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation whilst also working towards ending the deferral on LGBTQ men donating blood.
The campaign includes a micro-site with detailed information about why this ban is problematic as well as information on blood donation in general. Users are encouraged to sign a petition and send a sample letter to send to their local TD. They can also download posters to put around their area/college/school etc more
The campaign also extends to a blood donor bus where people can donate easily. While they are doing so, volunteers will talk to them about the ban with the goal of getting them to sign the petition and spread the message online by sharing it to social media. Essentially a mobile donor clinic that can situate itself in busy areas while also promoting the campaign’s message. Dissertation title: Modesty and Modernity; Expressions of Irish identity and sexuality in the pamphlets of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, 1922-1972