Gay blood ban relaxed in Wales

Wales is to follow England and Scotland in relaxing blood donation rules for gay and bisexual men and sex workers. As in England and Scotland, sex workers were previously not allowed to donate blood at all.

From early next year men who have sex with men will be able to give blood in Wales three months after their last sexual activity.

Currently gay and bisexual men have to abstain from sex for 12 months before they can give blood.

The Welsh Government is looking at more personalised risk assessments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-40794104

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Gay blood ban relaxed again

Gay men in England will be allowed to donate blood three months after having sex instead of a year. Medical advances mean the time limit will be reduced again in England and Scotland.

The limit has been one year since it was readjusted in 2011.

Sex workers were barred from donating, but they now will be able to, subject to the same three-month rule.

The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs – which advises UK health departments – recommended the changes after concluding that new testing systems were accurate and donors were good at complying with the rules.

Prof. James Neuberger, from the advisory committee, said: “Technologies to pick up the presence of the virus have greatly improved, so we can now pick up viruses at a much earlier stage in the infection, and therefore it’s much easier to tell if a blood donor has the virus.”

The new limits will take effect at blood donation centres in Scotland in November, and in early 2018 in England.

The changes mean that men who have sex with other men, people who have sex with high-risk partners – for example, those who have been in areas where HIV is common, and commercial sex workers will be able to donate blood after abstaining from sex for three months.

The rules around people who have undergone acupuncture, piercing, tattooing and endoscopies, and for those with a history of non-prescribed injecting drug use, are now being reviewed, but those are European rules and are subject to EU legislation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40669950

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/23/gay-men-blood-donation-three-months-after-sex

Another nail in the blood ban’s coffin

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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

Irish Republic ditches its lifetime ban

The lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men in the Irish Republic has been lifted.

From today (January 16) a man who last had sex with another man more than one year ago will now be allowed to donate, as long as he meets the other blood donor selection criteria.

Any man who has had sex with another man within the last 12 months will still be prohibited from donating.

http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=25681