While Northern Ireland continues to drag its feet on lifting the lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, recent developments in Great Britain are no great victory. Since early November, queer men in England, Scotland and Wales are permitted to give blood so long as they have refrained from homosexual activity for a year. But although the exclusion of sexually active queer men has been tackled by a multitude of commentators, they are not the only people barred from blood donation because of who they sleep with.

Despite the recent change in regulations, it remains the case that a woman who has had sex with a man who has ever had sex with a man must wait one year before she can donate. This means, in practice, that while John may be eligible to give blood once a year has passed since his last sexual contact with a man, his girlfriend Sally is excluded until a year after the end of their own sexual relationship. Assuming, if we will, that they are monogamous and that their relationship lasts for years, the ban on her participation grows ever more ridiculous with the passing of time. John’s blood donation is not problematised, but Sally’s donation, purely because of her association with John, is.

via Pink News