The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Donation, a group of MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum who will inform on the Government’s review of blood donation in the UK was launched today in Parliament.
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A group of MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum came together today to promote the importance of donating blood and to inform on the upcoming review into who is able to safely donate blood.
The APPG has been set up to help inform the Government review on blood donation rules which will determine whether gay and bisexual men will be able to donate blood unrestricted.
The review will also take in to consideration those who have ever injected drugs or had money for sex and their viability on blood donation.
At the present time gay and bisexual men are able to donate in England, Wales and Scotland but only if they are HIV negative and have not had sex with another man in the year.
In Northern Ireland men who sleep with men are one of the groups who are still not permitted to donate blood.
The review was announced in Parliament in November in response to the campaign from FreedomToDonate and the Government is currently in discussions with stakeholders as to the terms of the review and its timeline.
Speaking on the launch of the APPG, the Co-Chair, Stewart McDonald MP said,
“Donating blood is a lifesaving action. It’s something that all those who can safely donate blood should be able to do so that’s why I’m proud to be Co-Chairing this APPG with Paula Sherriff MP.”
Founder of the FreedomToDonate campaign, Ethan Spibey said,
“Securing the review into who is able to safely donate blood was a huge milestone for our campaign and the setting up today of this APPG is yet another way we can ensure the best possible outcome for the review for all those affected. I set up this campaign when my Grandad went through a major operation, it’s my hope that I and many others can safely donate in the near future.”