Britain lifts ban on gay men giving blood
Saturday 10 September 2011
Britain said Thursday it was lifting a ban on gay men giving blood providing they have had not had homosexual intercourse within a year.
A lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have had sex with another man was introduced in Britain in the 1980s as a response to the spread of AIDS and HIV.
But a review by a panel of leading experts and patient groups found it could no longer support their permanent exclusion.
However, men who have had anal or oral sex with another man in the past 12 months, with or without a condom, will still be barred from donating blood, the Department of Health said.
The experts considered the risk of infection being transmitted through blood, the willingness of potential donors to comply with the selection criteria and improvements in testing donated blood.
The change brings the criteria for men who have had sex with men into line with other groups who are deferred from giving blood for 12 months due to infection risks associated with sexual behaviour.
These include women who have slept with a man who has had sex with another man, people who have slept with prostitutes and those who have had intercourse with anyone who has injected themselves with drugs.
The announcement was welcomed by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, but he said it fell short of lifting the ban on gay men who always use condoms.
He said: "Although the new policy is a big improvement on the existing discriminatory rules, a 12-month ban is still excessive and unjustified."
Tatchell, who launched the first campaign against the lifetime ban in 1991, added: "Most gay and bisexual men do not have HIV and will never have HIV.
"If they always have safe sex with a condom, have only one partner and test HIV negative, their blood is safe to donate.
"They can and should be allowed to help save lives by becoming donors."
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps Pacman: company offers chance to play arcade classic on streets around the world
Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
The Clove Club: The restaurant where you will pre-pay for your food
Apple Watch: What is it good for?
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...