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The ban in the Irish Republic on gay men donating blood will be finally lifted on January 16 next year. The ban was put in place in Ireland during the 1980s when Aids was a major sexual health risk, especially in the gay community.
Health Minister Simon Harris, pictured, announced he would lift the ban after the Irish Blood Transfusion Service recommended that gay men should be able to donate blood, following a review of scientific research and practices in other countries.
The ban was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales five years ago, and in Northern Ireland the ban was lifted last month.