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Home Industry News Blood donation rules relaxed for gay men and other groups

Blood donation rules relaxed for gay men and other groups

24th July 2017

Gay men will be among the groups to benefit from new changes to blood donation rules that will make it easier for many people to give blood.

Following a review by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), the government has relaxed its existing blood donation rules, with the changes to take effect from early 2018.

The deferral period for men who have had oral or anal sex with other men will be reduced from 12 months to three months, with the same applying to those who have had sex with high-risk partners, and those whose partners have been sexually active in areas where HIV is common.

Additionally, the total ban on blood donations from commercial sex workers is being lifted, with a three-month deferral period replacing it.

These changes have been made in response to the latest scientific advances, with future changes now being planned for deferral periods applying to recipients of acupuncture, piercing and tattooing.

SaBTO chair and consultant physician Professor James Neuberger said: "The UK has one of the safest blood supplies in the world, and experts from around the country have analysed the latest information so even more people can have the opportunity to donate blood."

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