Blood donation and gay men


Sir, – The Irish Blood Transfusion Service announced it is importing blood from the blood donation service in England in response to a shortage here (News, June 30th).

As of June of this year gay and bisexual men in the UK have been allowed to donate blood. In Ireland men who have sex with men can only donate blood if they abstain from sex with men (MSM) for 12 months before donating. There is a possibility the blood imported from England may include blood from MSM who had sex as recently as the morning they donated blood. This highlights Ireland’s outdated blood donation laws for MSM and reform is needed.

– Yours, etc, BRIAN McMAHON,


Co Mayo.