This week the Department of Health announced changes to blood donation laws which mean that men who have ever had sex with men are no longer banned from donating blood for life, but may do so when they have not engaged in oral/anal sex for a period of one year.
This is a big change and more LGBT campaign groups are announcing their support for these changes. LGBTory, the Conservative LGBT group, is the latest such group. Their Chairman, Matthew Sephton, had the following to say:
“We welcome the announcement that the Department of Health is to end the lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have had sex with men. This is a huge step forward and it’s great to see such a step being taken by a Conservative-led Government.”
“LGBTory has been campaigning against the blanket ban for some time and we are pleased with our success. We said all along that any change in blood donation laws must take into account the best medical evidence available and we are satisfied that this has been done.”
“However, it continues to be the case, for example, that those who engage in risky heterosexual sex are able to give blood much more easily than many gay and bisexual men, despite their behaviour. It is for reasons such as this that we are also urging SaBTO to regularly review the blood donation restrictions so that best practice, for the health of all, is assured.”
LGBTory also point out that men in homosexual long term relationships are still effectively banned from blood donation, which they say is another big anomaly.