Sunday 4 December 2016

Ban on blood donations by gay men to end

Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30

The board the the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), which met yesterday to discuss the issue, recommended the ban should end. Stock photo
The board the the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), which met yesterday to discuss the issue, recommended the ban should end. Stock photo

The lifetime ban on gay men from giving blood looks set to be lifted by the end of the year.

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The board the the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), which met yesterday to discuss the issue, recommended the ban should end.

It should be replaced by a rule which would accept a blood donation from a gay man who has not had sex for a year.

The recommendation will now go to Health Minister

Simon Harris who will make the ultimate decision on whether the current regulations will be changed.

The lifetime ban was introduced in the mid-1980s when the risk of potential transmission of HIV through blood transfusions was high.

However, testing now means the risks of transmissions are infinitely small.

The lifetime ban had already ended in countries like England and Scotland, which have all introduced the one year without sex rule instead.

GLEN, the gay and lesbian equality network, has previously called for the lifetime ban to be lifted.

It pointed out that it was 30 years since the introduction of the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men.

Irish Independent

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