Showing posts with label Donating Blood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donating Blood. Show all posts

May 1, 2020

Blood Donated Rules Are Relax in Northern Ireland, In the U.S. Just Fear of Becoming Gay by Blood


"What is up with the U.S. and it's homophobic stand in not relaxing blood donations? Are they
afraaid homophes will become gay with gay blood? That most be it. Just like at one point they would not take blood from blacks because then the wives would have black kids...The more things change the more they stay the same in the human world. "Adam

Gay and bisexual men in Northern Ireland will soon be able to donate blood three months after their last sexual activity, the department of health has announced.
The previous policy was to wait a year.
The change will take effect from 1 June, bringing NI into line with the rest of the UK, which adopted the three-month limit in 2017.
The health minister said on Wednesday his decision was based on "evidence regarding the safety of donated blood".
Robin Swann said: "Any one of us may require a blood transfusion in the future and we need to be confident that the blood we receive is safe."

BloodImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe NI Blood Transfusion Service welcomed the announcement from the health minister

Every blood donation was tested for HIV and a number of other organisms, said the health minister.
"Not even the most advanced tests are 100% reliable, so it is vitally important for every donor to comply with any deferral rules that apply to them," he added.
In order for the NI Blood Transfusion Service to have "adequate preparation time", Mr Swann said the new policy would take effect from June.

'Safety is utmost priority'

A lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have sex with other men was introduced in the 1980s amid concerns about HIV, however, this was changed to the 12-month wait policy in Great Britain in 2011 and later in Northern Ireland in 2016.
In 2017, it was decided the health department would begin preparatory work on a policy change to reduce the deferral time in Northern Ireland to bring it into line with the rest of the UK.
But this would need to be signed off by a health minister, who was not in post due to the collapse of the power-sharing government. 
After the restoration of Stormont in January and the appointment of Robin Swann, the health minister said he took the decision to support recommendations on the policy from the UK group on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs in February.
LGBT support group The Rainbow Project welcomed the move on Wednesday and said: "No longer can LGBT people in Northern Ireland be expected to endure lesser treatment than our counterparts in other regions."
The NI Blood Transfusion Service also supported the change, saying: "The safety of our donors and staff, as always, is our utmost priority."
Donors should also keep in mind the public health advice around coronavirus, including not attending appointments if they or a member of their household are feeling unwell, added a statement from the NI Blood Transfusion Service.

April 19, 2020

Health Experts Call on FDA to Relax Outdated Restrictions on Gay Blood Donations




                                




By Tim Fitzsimons
Amid a blood shortage ignited by the coronavirus pandemic, over 500 health professionals signed an open letter Thursday calling on the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate “the scientifically outdated ban” on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, a policy that traces its roots to the early days of the AIDS crisis.
"As you well know, we are on the precipice of a critical nationwide shortage of blood products," the signatories wrote. "This severe shortage could be alleviated if antiquated restrictions lacking scientific data were responsibly lifted."
The letter — addressed to the FDA’s Blood Products Advisory Committee and signed by infectious disease specialists, public health professionals, clinicians and others — comes just two weeks after the FDA revised its blood donation guidelines to shorten the required sexual abstinence period for men who have sex with men to three months from 12 months.
“While the FDA’s recent decision to shorten the prohibition window to 3 months is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough in reversing the unscientific ban,” the letter states.
The signatories called for “a more scientifically rigorous” approach to screening blood donors that better reflects modern HIV-testing technology. In their letter, they argue that the acute blood shortage caused by the global coronavirus pandemic is the reason the FDA should act now to further reduce the wait period for gay and bisexual men. In March, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that an estimated 86,000 blood donations had been lost as a result of canceled blood drives, and since then the public health crisis has only grown worse.
The American Red Cross, however, said in a press release shared with The New York Times on Thursday that the blood supply is secure this month because “many” blood donors stepped up in recent weeks.
A 2014 study by UCLA Law's Williams Institute found that fully repealing the gay and bisexual blood donation restrictions could potentially unlock over a half million blood units per year from men who have sex with men — a total increase in supply of 2 percent to 4 percent.
The letter adds that lifting the “ban would increase the number of convalescent plasma donors, a promising treatment for COVID-19.” 
In recent weeks, gay and bisexual men who have recovered from COVID-19 have sought to donate their antibody-rich blood for experimental convalescent plasma treatments and have been rejected, adding urgency to these new calls for reform.
Thursday's letter, distributed by LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, stated that because new blood testing technologies can reliably detect HIV about a week after infection, it is “unscientific and based on outdated antibody-based HIV testing algorithms” to require gay men to abstain from sex for three months prior to donating blood.
Modern HIV tests look for antigens, which appear in the blood days after infection. Older tests looked for antibodies, which appear weeks and perhaps even months after infection. Gay and bisexual men represent about 70 percent of all new HIV infections in the U.S., according to the CDC.
The FDA initially banned gay and bisexual men from ever giving blood in 1983, then revised the lifetime ban in 2015 to a year's sexual abstinence.
Other countries, the letter states, have better addressed the issue by devising new protocols that ask people about recent risky behaviors irrespective of sexual orientation, which it described as “a much more scientifically rigorous and nondiscriminatory approach to maintaining a safe blood supply.”
Men who have sex with men and are in monogamous relationships, "those on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis [PrEP], and those who consistently use condoms have a particularly low risk of HIV acquisition,” the letter states.
In a statement shared with NBC News, the FDA said it "remains committed to gathering the scientific data that support donor deferral policies that are non-exclusive while helping to ensure a high level of blood safety.”
“To investigate the scientific validity of such an approach, the FDA is working to commence a pilot study that will enroll about 2000 men who have sex with men and who would be willing to donate blood," the FDA stated. "This study, being conducted at community health centers in key locations across the United States, could generate data that will help the FDA determine if a donor questionnaire based on individual risk assessment would be as effective as time-based deferrals in reducing the risk of HIV.” 
The letter's signatories join a growing coalition of doctors, politicians and LGBTQ advocates in calling for the full repeal of blood donation restrictions on gay and bisexual men.
The FDA's updated guidelines came just weeks after a group of 15 Senators sent a letter to the FDA urging an overhaul in the blood donor guidelines on men who have sex with men.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a nationwide blood shortage, and we must work to increase our nation’s supply based on science and facts,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., one of the signatories, told NBC News after the letter's publication. The FDA “needs to change their discriminatory blood donation policies to address this challenge and help save lives.”
Other 12-month deferral periods have also been shortened under the updated FDA guidelines, including for people who have traveled to areas with certain endemic diseases, injected drugs or participated in commercial sex work.

April 4, 2020

U.S. Relaxes Rule On Blood Donations from Gay Men Due To Crisis



  

(AP) — The U.S. government Thursday eased restrictions on blood donations from gay men and other key groups because of a drop in the nation’s blood supply triggered by the coronavirus outbreak.


The Food and Drug Administration’s new policy aims to allow tens of thousands more Americans give blood, including gay and bisexual men and people with recent tattoos and piercings.
“We want and we need healthy people — all healthy people — to give blood,” said Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who announced the changes in a media briefing with the FDA.
Canceled blood drives have been devastating to the American Red Cross and other nonprofits that provide most of the blood supply. Last month, the Red Cross estimated there have been 86,000 fewer blood donations in recent weeks because blood drives were canceled at workplaces, colleges and other locations. 
The FDA’s previous rules barred donations from men who have had sex with a man in the previous year. The same policy applied to women who’ve had sex with gay or bisexual men and people who’ve received tattoos and piercings in the past year.
Under the new policy, the disqualifying time period was reduced to three months. FDA officials said the move to three months matches recent changes in the United Kingdom and other developed countries.
The FDA on Thursday made similar changes to restrictions for people who have recently traveled to countries where malaria exposure is a risk.
The agency said it expects the changes to remain in place after the pandemic ends.
The U.S. and many other countries have long restricted donations from gay and bisexual men and several other groups due to the risk of spreading HIV through the blood supply. In 2015, the FDA moved from a total ban to the one-year abstinence period for men who have sex with men.
Gay rights groups have continued to challenge that policy, saying it’s unnecessary given current testing technology and continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men.
Donated blood is screened for a number of infectious diseases, including HIV. The new coronavirus can’t be spread through blood.

March 30, 2020

Senators Call on Federal Government to Ease Gay Restrictions of BloodDonations








A group of senators are calling on the federal government to lift policies restricting gay and bisexual men from giving blood amid a nationwide donation shortage. Currently, men who have sex with men must remain celibate for a year before they are permitted to donate.

The 15 senators sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday urging authorities to “shift away from antiquated and stigmatizing donation policies” to address a need for blood donations during the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“We must take every possible step to secure our nation’s blood supply in this critical time,” the senators wrote, advocating for donation policies that are “scientifically sound, based on individual risk, and inclusive of all potential healthy blood donors.”

As of March 16, the American Red Cross reported that social distancing and self-isolation to prevent coronavirus’ spread had resulted in the cancellation of 2,700 blood drives and 86,000 fewer donations. During a March 19 briefing of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on all Americans to address this critical shortage by giving blood, saying that “one donation can save up to three lives.” 

Petition urges repeal of restrictions on gay donors amid blood shortage
Under regulations put into place in 2015, gay and bisexual men must refrain from sex for a year before they are permitted to donate blood. These guidelines, which were instituted under the Obama administration, replaced a 1983 rule that banned any man who engaged in sexual contact with another man from donating for life. That policy had been a relic of the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when little was known about the disease or how to test for it.

While the senators said the shortening of the deferral window to 12 months was a step forward, they argue that the current requirements don’t reflect “important advances in blood screening and safety technology” that have been made since 2015. As NBC News previously reported, the presence of HIV can now be detected in the bloodstream within a week of transmission.

That 15 lawmakers added that “a time-based deferral policy is not scientifically sound, continues to effectively exclude many healthy gay and bisexual men, and does not meet the urgent demands of the moment.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., the first out LGBTQ person elected to Congress, spearheaded the letter. Other signatories include Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

In a statement, Baldwin said she has “long fought to end discriminatory blood donation policies” as a federal lawmaker. She led similar pushes from the Senate calling on the FDA to rethink its blood donation policies in 2014 and 2016.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a nationwide blood shortage, and we must work to increase our nation’s supply based on science and facts,” she told NBC News. The FDA “needs to change their discriminatory blood donation policies to address this challenge and help save lives.” 
LGBTQ advocacy groups applauded this latest effort. In a statement, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said the FDA is upholding a “discriminatory policy that hinders so many healthy Americans” from helping others during a time of national need.

“There are thousands of healthy gay and bisexual men, as well as other LGBTQ people that this policy affects, who are willing and wanting to donate blood during this time,” Ellis said. “By relying on stigma rather than science, the FDA is not just harming members of the LGBTQ community, but all Americans.”

Earlier this week, GLAAD issued a petition pleading with the FDA to allow gay and bisexual men to donate without a time-based restriction, one that garnered over 10,000 signatures as of Friday afternoon. The petition notes that the 12-month window has been met with opposition from groups like the American Public Health Association and American Red Cross. In November, the Red Cross called for a three-month deferral “while further options are evaluated.”  

Currently, more than a dozen countries — including Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Spain — have no deferral period for gay and bisexual men. Instead, these countries use a risk-based assessment that evaluates donors based on specific behaviors. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the country’s first openly gay governor, has been a longstanding critic of the U.S. policy. In 2015, he told Reuters that it was inconceivable that a “married gay man in a monogamous relationship can’t give blood, but a promiscuous straight man who has had hundreds of opposite-sex partners in the last year can.”

The Williams Institute, a pro-LGBTQ think tank at UCLA Law, estimates that evaluating donors on potential risk, not same-sex sexual activity, would result in an additional 360,000 donors each year.

In a statement to the LGBTQ newspaper Washington Blade, a spokesperson for the FDA claimed its guidelines for gay and bisexual blood donors “have not changed” but pledged it would “continue to re-evaluate the situation as the outbreak progresses.”

“FDA is aware there has been a dramatic reduction in blood and plasma donations around the country,” said the unnamed representative. “The agency is working with the blood banking and source plasma industries to encourage healthy people who wish to help to donate blood.”


July 19, 2019

France Will Ease Restrictions on Gay Men To Donate Blood







 
The French government has banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood within a year of sexual activity since 2016. On Wednesday it said it would lower this “deferral” period – long been criticized as discriminatory – to four months. 

Homosexual men will be able to give blood four months after sexual intercourse instead of 12 months, France’s health ministry announced, in a policy shift that owes more to medical progress than to changing attitudes towards homosexuality.

Under current rules, men who have sex with men are barred from donating blood for a year following their last sexual encounter in order to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The health ministry, which will implement the changes on February 1, 2020, said the decision to relax the abstinence period was based on the latest scientific evidence and medical advances.  

It said the change marked a “first step” in plans to bring donor conditions for gay men in line with those for heterosexuals by 2022, pending a “transparent” evaluation of the potential risks involved.

The announcement comes a month after gay rights groups filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging discrimination by France, pointing out that the 12-month abstinence rule “effectively excludes 93.8% of gay men from donating blood”.

‘Deferrals’

The issue is particularly sensitive in France, where hundreds of people died in the 1980s after HIV-tainted blood was distributed by the national blood transfusion center.

France instituted a total ban on gay men giving blood in 1983 as part of efforts to halt the spread of AIDS, mirroring steps taken in a majority of Western countries.

After years of campaigning by LGBT rights activists, the ban was finally lifted in 2016 – but replaced with a 12-month “deferral” period, during which would-be donors had to abstain from sexual activity.

>> After 30-year ban, gay men in France allowed to donate blood

Many other countries that have lifted bans on gay men giving blood have also introduced 12-month waiting periods, including the United States, Australia, Japan, and Sweden. Italy, Spain, and Russia are among only a handful of European countries that don't have a deferral policy.

In justifying the restrictions, health authorities noted that men who have unprotected sex with men are at a significantly higher risk of infection and that the virus’s long dormancy period made it hard to detect.

In 2016, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that governments were allowed to ban – or restrict – homosexual blood donors if they could prove it was the best way to limit the risk of HIV infection.

Evolving evidence

However, scientific innovation has steadily chipped away at the rationale for restrictions on gay donors, while critics have questioned the wisdom of excluding healthy donors when blood shortages are common.

Back in 2010, when gay men were still barred from giving blood in the United States, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conceded that the ban was "suboptimal" in that it allowed "some potentially high-risk donations while preventing some potentially low-risk donations".

Announcing its decision to partially lift the ban five years later, the agency said: “the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the US population".

Since then, the evidence has moved on again.

In July 2017, the UK government announced it would lower the deferral period to three months, based on the recommendations of the country’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues, and Organs (SaBTO), which concluded that new testing systems were sufficiently quick and accurate.

Later that year, a team of Australian researchers concluded in a report published by scientific journal Transfusion that a 12-month deferral “exceeds what is required to maintain blood safety”.

“[W]ith current testing technologies the window period during which infection may be present but not detected is now less than 1 week,” the authors wrote. “While there is a moral imperative to maintain blood safety, there is also a moral imperative to ensure that differential treatment of population groups with regard to donation eligibility is scientifically justified.”

In place of the year-long abstinence period, the authors recommended reducing the timeframe to three months, noting that such a move “will not increase health risks to recipients and may have the social benefit of increasing inclusiveness”.

‘Not a human right’

Scientific progress has also informed France’s decision to ease blood donation rules.

Studies carried out by Santé Publique France (SPF), the French public health authority, have shown that the decision to lift the ban on gay donors in 2016 did not increase the risk of HIV infection. They also revealed that the vast majority of donors complied with the rules.

However, the health ministry resisted calls to give homosexuals and heterosexuals equal treatment when it comes to blood donations.

“Being able to donate blood is not a right, it’s a civic gesture that is subject to safety rules,” France’s health ministry told AFP news agency on Wednesday, noting that heterosexual men who have had more than one partner over the last four months are also barred from giving blood.

Late last year, lawmakers in the French National Assembly also rejected a bill that would have placed equal conditions on heterosexual and homosexual men. One of the bill’s sponsors, centrist lawmaker Jean-Luc Lagleize, had called for “the criteria of exclusion [from blood donations] to be high-risk behavior – and not a person’s sexual orientation”.

Even with a shorter “deferral” period, restrictions on gay blood donors continue to reflect discriminatory attitudes toward gay and bisexual men, writes Jennifer Power, a research fellow at La Trobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health, and Society.

“A gay man who has been having safe sex, including within a monogamous relationship, is not necessarily at higher risk of acquiring HIV than a woman who has had multiple sexual partners and possibly unsafe sex,” says Power.

“Yet a heterosexual woman is not banned from blood donation because she has had sex. Instead, heterosexual women are trusted to make their own assessment and accurate disclosure of their likely HIV risk. Gay and bisexual men are not.”


August 27, 2018

Denmark Will Permit Gay and Bisexual Men to Donate Blood in 2019








However, if the man is single they must have been celibate for four months prior to donating.

Denmark has announced that is lifting the ban on gay men donating blood. Men who are single still face some obstacles however, as they must have been celibate for four months before doing so. However, men who are in relationships will be allowed to donate regardless of when they last had sex.
Speaking to the CPH Online, Danish Health Minister Ellen Trane Nørby said: “The authority [patient safety] has found a model we feel is safe and we will therefore incorporate it into Denmark.
“All safety mechanisms in our blood donation system are built on trust and we have some very advanced tests that screen the blood.”
CPH Online reported that it was strange that the ban hadn’t been lifted beforehand, as there has been political support for the idea for many years. A date for the ban to be lifted has not yet been announced, but it is expected to take place at some point in 2019.
Bans on gay and bisexual men donating blood are slowly being removed. Earlier this year, Israel announced that it would allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood.
However, the process would still be more difficult than it would be for a straight man. Patients will have their blood checked for infectious diseases, and will have to wait four months while their plasma is separated and frozen.
Donors will then have to donate a second time, and if the results for HIV – and other diseases – comes back as negative, then their blood will be authorised for use.
And last year, the UK government announced that it was removing the 12-month ban on celibacy and replacing it with a three-month ban.
“We’re pleased the Government recognises there is still more to be done to ensure all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are accepted without exception,” said Stonewall’s CEO Ruth Hunt.
“Change to the blood donation rules are welcome. However, while this is an important move, it’s vital that this is a stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men.
“We would like to see individualised risk assessment, and are encouraged that the Government and NHS Blood and Transplant Service are committed to exploring how to do this.”

June 16, 2018

Men Can Not Give Blood in America{ There is no Medical Reason Only Political



This page by Josh and Levi is in THENIB. I thought it is a simple page yet powerful enough and it should be spread on a day like yesterday (and everyday) which we have set aside to bring attention about the discrimination about blood and Gay men. Yes blood which at one time it used to scared doctors and All other medical peronnel is no longer scary, I hope. We went from using blood which is always been a life saver to use it as an instrument of division and discrimnation. Blood still blood. It still saves lives. Gay men should not be set aside as not capable, not good enough to save our borthers and sisters lives with or blood. This is one more brick on the wall of discrimination and like all other walls not grounded on truth it will have to fall.🦊Adam Gonzalez



It’s 2018, and Gay Men Still Can’t Give Blood in America

Posted Today 

October 4, 2017

The Gay Community Wants to Help The Vegas Blood Shortage but They Are Not Allowed





On Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, a gunman took fire at the country festival crowd from an above hotel room, killing 59 people and injuring around 527 others.

Las Vegas police found the gunman dead in his hotel room, along with rounds of ammunition and a huge hoard of weaponry. The FBI claimed the gunman had no links to any terrorist organisations, but this was an act of terrorism, nonetheless.

A video emerged online of country singer Jason Aldean’s performance being ambushed by gunfire. The terrifying footage shows the panic and chaos amongst the crowd, as music quickly turns into screaming.

This is one of the deadliest shootings in modern US history, with many calling once again for gun control laws to be put into place in the United States.

In the aftermath of the shooting, there are hundreds that need medical attention. 
As a surge of crowd members arrived at the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Centre located close to the concert venue, needing treatment for their injuries, and in some cases, what proved to be fatalities.
Steve Sisolak, a current candidate for Governor of Las Vegas, posted a plea to Twitter asking for people to donate blood, which was retweeted by the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman.

However, despite their urge for blood donations, gay and bisexual men are still being prevented from donating blood as a result of old legislation, through fear of being contaminated by HIV or syphilis.

Former NSYNC singer and Las Vegas native Lance Bass tweeted his frustration at the ban: “How is it STILL illegal for gays to donate blood??!! I want to donate and I’m not allowed.”

In the midst of a tragedy like this, it seems even more absurd that gay people can’t donate blood.

Under current United States laws, as in many other countries, if you’re a man who has sex with men (MSM), you cannot donate blood unless you’ve abstained from sex for at least 12 months.

“All US blood collection organisations must follow this federal requirement,” say the American Red Cross under the LGBTQ guidelines section of their website.

Let’s hope that these restrictions are overturned – it’s about time.

For now, our thoughts are with anyone affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas.

Words Jamie Dixon


July 24, 2017

UK Government Changes Rules for Gay Men Giving Blood



 Rules Changed from a year to three months after having sex. The virus can be detected rather quickly.  The waiting time is way more than needed as a safety window. A year it would seem to this blog was more political than scientific, which is the way the US and some other countries are opting for. Meanwhile, the need for blood increases not diminishes.




Gay men will be allowed to donate blood three months after having sex rather than a year, under equalities reforms announced by the Government. 

Transgender people will also be able to choose their legal sex more easily as part of the shake-up announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening.

Fears over infections being passed on through donations from gay men led to an outright ban at the height of the Aids epidemic, but that was cut to 12 months in 2011. 

Government set to make it easier for gay men to give blood

The new guidelines, which campaign groups have been calling for, are in line with improved NHS testing measures, which can establish whether someone has a blood infection such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or syphilis within three months.

LGBT rights activists, who want to get rid of the blanket deferral period entirely, have hailed the shift in policy as a major step towards a fair and equal system.

Ms. Greening, who is also equalities minister, said the Government was building on the progress on tackling prejudice made in the 50 years since the partial decriminalization of homosexuality. 
“This Government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality and today we’re taking the next step forward,” she said.

“We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.” 
Government set to make it easier for gay men to give blood

Reforms making it easier for transgender people to choose their sex legally by removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and speeding up the bureaucratic process will be consulted on in the autumn.

Ms. Greening said she wanted to cut the stigma faced by trans people, who have to provide evidence that they have been in transition for at least two years before they can apply to legally change their gender.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this week indicated she was preparing to reform the Gender Recognition Act, saying that “when it comes to rights and protections for trans people, there is still a long way to go”. 

Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall trans advisory group, said: “Reform is one of the key priorities in our vision for removing the huge inequalities that trans people face in the UK. The current system is demeaning and broken.

“It’s vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to have their gender legally recognized through a simple administrative process. That’s what we’ll be calling for during this consultation, and I’m looking forward to seeing the law change soon after."

The Government accepted the recommendations of the advisory committee on the safety of blood, tissues, and organs (SaBTO) on changing the deferral periods for blood donations from gay men. 

Ethan Spibey, the founder of the FreedomToDonate group that has campaigned for reform, said: "Today’s announcement from the Government marks a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men and the other groups previously restricted. 

“I’m so proud that the work of FreedomToDonate and our supporters will help ensure more people than ever before are allowed to safely donate blood.

“I began this campaign because I wanted to repay the donor who saved my granddad’s life after a major operation and this announcement means I’m closer than ever to doing that, with the invaluable help of our team of volunteers, and the charities and organizations FreedomToDonate represents.” 

Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said the changes were “welcome” but that it was merely a “stepping stone” on the path to a more inclusive system.

“Changes to the blood donation rules are welcome. However, while this is an important move, it’s vital that this is a stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men,” she said.

“We would like to see individualized risk assessment, and are encouraged that the Government and NHS Blood and Transplant Service are committed to exploring how to do this.”

Stewart McDonald MP, who co-chairs the all party parliamentary group on blood donation that led on the Parliamentary Inquiry said: “I am delighted at this monumental change in blood donation policy, which will ensure more people than ever before can donate blood and increase blood stock whilst always maintaining its safety and integrity."







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