Blood board recommends lifting lifetime ban on gay men donating

IBTS says blood should be accepted if men have not had sex with a man in the previous 12 months

There is currently a ban on men who have ever had sex with other men from donating blood in the Republic.

There is currently a ban on men who have ever had sex with other men from donating blood in the Republic.

 

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has recommended ending the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

There is currently a ban on men who have ever had sex with other men from donating blood in the Republic. The ban has been in place since the 1980s when it was introduced to combat the Aids epidemic.

The ban was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in 2011 - and will be lifted in Northern Ireland as of September 1st – in favour of a one-year deferral period.

It is understood the IBTS has recommended the same system to Minister for Health Simon Harris following a board meeting on Thursday.The board has recommended that blood be accepted from gay men if they have not had sex with a man in the previous 12 months.

A spokeswoman for Mr Harris confirmed he received a report on the matter from the IBTS last night and that he is considering its contents. A decision is expected shortly.

The IBTS is said to have made its recommendation on the basis of latest scientific evidence and experience in other states. The new rules would not be expected to come into force until the end of the year.