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New reduced ban on blood donation for gay and bi men starts today

New reduced ban on blood donation for gay and bi men starts today

An arm during blood donation

Gay and bisexual men in Wales and Scotland can now donate blood three months after they last had sex with a man.

The reduced ban takes effect in England starting tomorrow.

UK Government announced the change in July.

Previously, gay and bi men had to wait a year after sex with another man to donate blood.

The reduction comes after a recommendation from Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs.

The recommendation was ‘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.’

Equality Network is a charity working for LGBTI equality and human rights in Scotland.

Scott Cuthbertson is the Development Manager at Equality Network.

He said: ‘We welcome that more gay and bisexual men will be eligible to donate blood from today.

‘We hope many gay and bisexual men who are now able to donate, do so with their peers. These new rules are a welcome and significant step forward.

‘We remain concerned, however, that for too many low risk gay and bisexual men these new rules are, in effect, a continued ban.’

Equality Network looks forward to continuing to work towards eliminating ‘all unwarranted discrimination from the UKs blood donation rules.’