The Blood Ban

In the UK, men who have sex with men are excluded from donating blood.

The ban relates to anyone who has ever had sex with a man who has had sex with another man, even if he defines himself as heterosexual. This ban has been in place since the early days of the AIDS crisis.

The criteria across UK Blood Services for accepting blood donors are reviewed by the Department of Health’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).

SaBTO are currently reviewing the evidence base for donor exclusion and deferral in the UK, including criteria which relates to sexual behaviour.

Once the review is complete, SaBTO will make recommendations to the Government as to whether any changes to the current policy are warranted. These recommendations will be based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence available.

LGF supports the review of current blood donation regulations.

The priority of the National Blood Service is to prevent blood containing HIV or other blood-borne viruses from being passed on. We believe the National Blood Service should continue to review the information they provide to make sure that their policy does not appear discriminatory.

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August 2011