The Department of Health announced they will review the 12 month ban on gay men donating blood, on World Blood Day.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Donation and the FreedomToDonate campaign announced the parliamentary inquiry into who can safely donate blood.
The APPG will review the current guidelines that are in place and the inquiry will hear evidence on whether the guidelines reflect today’s scientific and technological advances.
Currently, just 4% of the UK population donate blood. The APPG will review evidence and compile a report that will provide recommendations to the government on how to ensure as much safe blood as possible is donated.
Men who have had sex with another man in the last 12 months are not allowed to donate blood. The review hopes to bring the ban down to 3 months.
This ban targets sexual orientation rather than sexual activity. If a gay man practices safe sex with one partner he is exempt from donating, but a heterosexual man who has unsafe sex with multiple partners is allowed to donate.
A spokesperson for the FreedomToDonate campaign said:
“1 in 4 of us will need blood at some time in our life. Everyday over 6000 blood transfusions take place but over the last 10 years there has been a 40% drop in the number of donors.”
“We want to increase this number, and reforming these restrictions is the start.”
FreedomToDonate believes everyone who wants to donate blood, and can do so safely, should be able to.
We’ve secured a government review into the blood donation guidelines and are leading an inquiry to what those guidelines should look like.