Another nail in the blood ban’s coffin

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BBC | 17084

The Government’s advisory committee is about to make it considerably easier for gay men to donate blood in a dramatic winding down of the ban implemented amid the 1980s Aids epidemic.

The committee is reported to have decided that the current deferral period, in which men cannot give blood within 12 months of having sex with another man, should be reduced to three months.

The change reflects improved testing measures which can establish whether someone has HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or syphilis inside three months.

The move to reduce the deferral period is supported by a working group of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. An official report will be passed to the full committee, which will then give its recommendation to the Department of Health in July.

The ban has been in place since 1983 – 34 years.

The 2015 UK Blood Donor Survey of 65,051 people found one per cent lie about their circumstances on their forms. Seventy-four men who have sex with men, out of 22,065, said they had been dishonest to the blood service.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Service says it needs 200,000 blood donors every year.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/gay-blood-donation-sex-aids-three-months-year-a7721606.html

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