Gay blood ban set to be lifted

Ban: Gay rights campaigners have been fighting to scrap the ban for years.
Ban: Gay rights campaigners have been fighting to scrap the ban for years.

By politics.co.uk staff

One of the gay rights movement's key goals is expected to come a step closer to completion today.

The lifetime ban on gay men donating blood is expected to be scrapped and swapped for a set 'window period' between sex and donation.

The ban was originally put in place in the 1980's to prevent HIV contamination.


With most new infections in the UK coming from homosexual sex, medical authorities banned any man who had ever had sex with another man from donating blood.

A similar ban applied to people who had been travelling in high-risk countries, although that was time-sentitive.

The government is concerned that the ban may contravene the Equality Act and anyway medical authorities are increasingly convinced that it could no longer be justified.

Many other countries dropped the ban some time ago, with South Africa operating on a six month gap between sex and donation, while Australia, Sweden and Japan opted for one year.

Earlier this year, Royal College of Nursing voted overwhelmingly to lift the ban, a move supported by gay rights groups.
 

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