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Review of ban on blood donations by gay men

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Pouches of donated blood in hospital

Pouches of donated blood in hospital

Getty Images/Blend Images

Pouches of donated blood in hospital

The donation of blood by gay men is being reviewed - and a report will be published on it within weeks.

Currently homosexual males are not allowed on the list of donors.

Gay men who have been sexually active are subject to a lifetime ban on donating blood, under existing guidelines.

This restriction was introduced during the height of the Aids epidemic, back in the 1980s.

It was part of a range of measures designed to minimise the risk of HIV infection as a result of infected blood.

However, in recent years a number of countries have removed or reduced the ban.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has confirmed its medical and scientific director is to report on current practices in other countries.

The findings will be presented to the Department of Health, and the service also points out that the rules for blood donation are being constantly monitored. Health Minister Leo Varadkar said whatever decision was finally arrived at would be based on objective scientific data.

Irish Independent