Great news from the gay men’s blood donation campaign.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison MP has just announced that the advisory body will now review who can safely donate in 2016.
As it stands gay and bisexual men who have had penetrative sex in the last 12 months are unable to legally donate regardless of whether they are in a monogamous relationship, they use protection whilst having sex or they test negative for HIV.In 2011 the outright ban for gay and bisexual men to donate blood was removed and reduced to a one year ban. Meaning only gay or bisexual men who haven’t had sex within a year can donate blood. A practice many believe is discriminatory. In Northern Ireland the life time ban is still in force.Ethan Spibey from the Freedom To Donate campaign said,

“The FreedomToDonate team have worked tireless with our brilliant supporters to raise the case for a review into who can safely donate blood. I’m extremely happy that this morning the Public Health Minister Jane Ellison MP in answer to a question on the FreedomToDonate campaign confirmed that this review will take place in 2016. Those that can safely donate blood should be able to donate and securing this review is a step towards that. It’s time for the FreedomToDonate.”

Shaun Griffin, Executive Director External Affairs, Terrene Higgins Trust said:

“We welcome today’s news. The 2011 review that the one year ban was based on is now out of date, and the rules need reviewing to fit the facts today.

“The review announced today, as well as considering the latest available data, should also address the contradictions attached to the lifetime ban on former sex workers and past intravenous drug users, which were not addressed in 2011.

“The safety of the blood supply must come first – but the one year ban, and the information the decision was based on is out of touch with the reality of conditions like hep C and HIV in 2015.”


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