The United Kingdom has today announced that gay men and men who have sex with men will be able to donate blood three months after having sex rather than having to wait a year.
This is the first time any country has reduced the time and follows a substantial review into the proceedings by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues, and Organs.
The findings suggested that the reductions are based on the most up to date scientific evidence and medical advances, which will offer more people the opportunity to donate blood without affecting the safety of the blood supply – helping to increase the supply of donor blood and save lives.
Many other countries such as Australia and New Zealand still only allow the 12-month abstinence.
UK Minister for Women and Equalities Justine Greening said the UK government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality.
“We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.”
Ethan Spibey, Founder, FreedomToDonate said the announcement marks a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men.
“I’m so proud that the work of FreedomToDonate and our supporters will help ensure more people than ever before are allowed to safely donate blood,” said Spibey.
“I began this campaign because I wanted to repay the donor who saved my granddad’s life after a major operation and this announcement means I’m closer than ever to doing that, with the invaluable help of our team of volunteers, and the charities and organisations FreedomToDonate represents.”
The new rules, which also apply to commercial sex workers and people who have sex with partners classed as high-risk, are likely to come into effect in Scotland this November and in England from early 2018.
Last Updated on Jul 24, 2017