Man with rare blood type says gay donor rules should be changed

Warren Dempsey-Coy is O-Negative, the rare blood that only nine percent of Kiwis have.

But despite being a would-be super-donor, he isn't allowed to donate. 

Why? Because he's gay.

New Zealand rules state men who've had sex with other men in the last 12 months are barred.

However Mr Dempsey-Coy been with his husband for 34 years.  

New Zealand isn't alone when it comes to this policy; Australia, Canada and the US all require that gay men wait a year, too. 

Last year, though, the UK dropped their one year window to three months and the National Health Service is considering whether to ditch the waiting period entirely.

But there are plenty of countries where there's no ban on homosexuals giving blood. 

The ban stem from fears that gay men will pass along HIV/AIDS. But that can be detected in the bloodstream in less than 28 days, while refrigerated blood itself can be stored for 42 days.

And, of course, anyone can get HIV, gay or straight.  It doesn't discriminate. 

But, some argue New Zealand does.

So is this just what it takes to keep the blood banks safe or is it time to ditch this 80's "fear hangover" for good?

Watch the full story in The Project video above.

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