The United Kingdom on Monday announced
it would ease rules on blood donations for gay and bisexual men.
Under the new rules, which will take
effect over the summer, men who have been in a monogamous
relationship in the last three months will be allowed to donate
blood. Currently, gay men must abstain from sex for three months to
qualify to donate blood.
The BBC reports that men with multiple
partners will also be allowed to donate blood as long as they did not
have anal sex, which is considered a “high risk” act for HIV
Donors who have engaged in chemsex in
the last three months or treated for syphilis in the last twelve
months will still need to abstain from sex for three months before
they can donate blood.
Britain is one of the first countries
to adopt such risk-based rules for blood donation.
Dr. Michael Brady, medical director at
Terrence Higgins Trust, said that the changes “will allow many more
gay and bisexual men to safely donate blood.”
“The move to a more individualized
assessment is grounded in a robust evidence base, and the decision
will increase the number of potential donors while also ensuring the
safety of the UK's blood supply,” he
told UK LGBT glossy Attitude.
The United States in March shortened
the deferral period for gay men who want to donate blood from 12
months to 3.
In September, Democratic lawmakers in
the House introduced a bill that seeks to end the FDA's ban on gay
men donating blood.
Quigley, Val Demings introduce bill to end gay blood ban.)