From November 7th Gay and Bisexual men in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to give blood. Any Gay or Bisexual Man who has not had homosexual sex in 12 months will be able to give blood.
While its not the most ideal of situations, it is better then a blanket ban on gay and bisexual men.
Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service national director Keith Thompson said: “We are pleased that this new donor selection criteria has been made possible by the most up to date scientific advances in screening and testing.”
He added: “Blood donation works on the principles of kindness and mutual trust.
“In order for us to safely introduce this new rule we ask all potential and existing donors to adhere to the selection criteria by providing completely honest answers to all the questions, both for the protection of their own health and that of patients.”
Mr Thompson said the blood donor selection criteria and other blood safety measures, including stringent testing, mean that there has been no documented transmission of a blood-born virus in the UK since 2005, with no HIV transmission since 2002.
The National Aids Trust has welcomed the changes.
The organisation tweeted: “NAT welcomes the lifting of the lifetime blood ban for gay men and the new evidence-based approach.”
With our nearest neighbour now lifting the ban, it will give support to those advocating a more scientific based approach to the ban here in Ireland. While there will be those opposed to any sort of ban, a short term ban is better then a blanket ban.
It is interesting to note that the ban will not be lifted in Northern Ireland. So then ban, for now, is still in effect across the Island of Ireland, and I cannot see that changing despite what the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs have found in their review earlier this year.
The IBTS will have to change eventually, especially if it is confirmed that the blanket lifetime ban is against EU Law.
- Gay Blood Ban Against EU Law – EU Commissioner (stephenspillane.com)