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Content about National Blood Service

August 26, 2013

A sexually inactive 21-year-old gay man in Ireland, where it’s illegal for men who have sex with men to donate blood, has been blocked from donating until further notice

An openly gay man is accusing an Ireland blood bank of discrimination after doctors requested he stop donating even though he’s never had sex.

While Ireland has a lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men or intravenous drug users to protect blood supplies, 21-year-old Tomas Heneghan claims he’s never had sex with a man before and feels he should still be eligible to donate blood.

July 18, 2013

Opposition lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen has called on the Hong Kong Red Cross to change its rules so that gay men can donate as the group struggles to find new donors

Openly gay Hong Kong lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen has called on the Blood Bank of Hong Kong to allow people to donate blood regardless of sexual orientation after he was stopped from donating.

Currently any man who has had sex with another man is banned from donating blood in Hong Kong but the Blood Bank has been having trouble attracting new donors and keeping up with demand.

July 13, 2013

Yesterday gay men around the country joined in a peaceful demonstration to protest the federal law that prohibits gay men from donating blood

Gay men across the US have joined forces against the 1970’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on gay blood donors.

Gay rights organizations and activists organized a National Gay Blood Drive day yesterday (12 July) where men who have sex with men, also known as MSM, were encouraged to arrive at 53 blood donation centers around the US and attempt to give blood.

May 23, 2013

New policy will see gay men who have been celibate for five years eligible to give blood in Canada

Canada is lifting its strict lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, although restrictions will still be in place.

The Canadian Blood Services are hoping to have the new policy in place by mid-summer 2013.

While there will no longer be a lifetime ban, men who have not had sex with other men in the last five years will be allowed to donate blood.

The new policy will replace the existing screening criteria, which excludes potential male donors who have had sex with another man since 1977 — the year HIV began spreading rapidly throughout North America.

July 13, 2012

Summer Wu, volunteer for Shanghai-based lesbian organization Nvai, comments about how she feels about China’s lifting of the ban on lesbians giving blood

China lifted a ban on lesbians donating blood this month, but gay men are still strictly banned. Though I am pleased by this achievement, discriminatory regulation still exists.

June 17, 2012

Edwin Poots suggests people who have sex with prostitutes and Africans should also be banned from giving blood

Health Minister Edwin Poots is standing by his decision to ban gay men in Northern Ireland from donating blood.

Speaking on the BBC Sunday Politics NI programme today (17 June), Poots said he received two new pieces of research this week that strengthened his position.

However Poots has said he does not want the ban to apply to gay people only.

He said: ‘I think that people who engage in high risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood.

June 14, 2012

Gay and bisexual men around the world are still banned or restricted from giving blood, even when risk is low

Campaigners are marking World Blood Donor Day by calling for the ban and restrictions on gay men giving blood to be lifted globally.

Today (14 June), the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging people to be a 'hero' and give the 'life-saving gift' of blood.

On its website, the UN agency states that 'every one of us can become a hero simply by giving blood'.

However, gay and bisexual men in most countries around the world are banned entirely from donating and in many where it is allowed, are required to abstain from sex for at least a year.

May 24, 2012

An Australian Red Cross review of blood donations rules does not go far enough to end discrimination against gay men, campaigners say

Campaigners who want to change Australia’s discriminatory blood donation rules for gay men say a review by the Australian Red Cross does not go far enough.

The newly published review recommends that the time gay men have to abstain from sex before giving blood be reduced from 12 to six months.

The Tasmania Gay and Lesbian Rights Group said that if the new recommendations are introduced the majority of gay men will still be unable to give blood.