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.
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.
A gay man has failed in an attempt to have his legal challenge to the ban in Northern Ireland on homosexual blood donations examined by the UK’s most senior judges. NI’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood was lifted in September.
The Supreme Court refused the case because the matter was now “academic” and the application did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance worthy of further consideration.
It brings to an end the four-year legal battle over blood donations from gay men in Northern Ireland.
Angela Brkic | AAP | 16439ga
Australia’s Victorian state Government has called on the federal government to end the ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood.
The Red Cross tests every donation but cannot detect HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the early weeks of infection.
According to the organisation, there has been just one case of HIV transmission via blood donation since testing began in 1985.
The risk of infection from a blood donation is less and one in 1 million.
State and federal ministers have agreed to review the national donation policy in 2017.
Media HQ | 16418ga
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.
Northern Ireland’s lifetime ban on gay men donating blood is to be lifted on Thursday. Men whose last sexual contact with another man was more than 12 months ago will be free to donate blood so long as they meet the other donor criteria.
The change means Northern Ireland has come into line at last with England, Scotland and Wales.
Previously in Northern Ireland, any man who had sex with another man was banned from giving blood permanently.
It has taken them five years to catch up with the rest of the UK, where the rules were changed in 2011.