LGBT Lib Dems welcome the news that the lifetime ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood is changing to a ban of only twleve months.
However, men who have had anal or oral sex with another man in the past 12 months, with or without a condom, will still not be eligible to donate blood. (This 12-month ban has also applied to the non-male partners of MSM, and there is no sign that this has been altered in the review.)
All MSM and their partners still face the same kind of deferral that “high risk” groups, despite the certainty that some MSM are scrupulously careful, and some in other groups are guaranteed not to be. LGBT Lib Dems believe that criteria in blood donation should be based in sexual activity, not category.
LGBT Lib Dems Chair Adrian Trett, says “This is a step in the right direction, however it is still discriminatory that Men that sleep with Men and their partners cannot give blood unless they do not have sex for a year. I’m afraid this is still not good enough, which is why at Lib Dem Conference, delegates will discuss ending the blood ban completely, because it should be based on science and not on stigma of sexuality.”