Intended for healthcare professionals


UK lifts lifetime ban on gay men giving blood

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 09 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5765
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. 1BMJ

The ban on gay men donating blood in Great Britain is to be lifted on 7 November 2011, after new evidence, including research in the BMJ, indicated that this would not affect the safety for recipients.

Men who abstain from anal and oral sex with another man for at least one year will be eligible if they meet the other criteria for selecting donors, the Department of Health announced on 8 September. This 12 month “deferral” applies whether or not condoms were used.

“Donor selection rules are based on good evidence to maintain their credibility with donors, and this change . . . is proportionate to the current risk,” said Lorna Williamson, medical and research director of NHS Blood and Transplant, which manages donations in England and north Wales. Our priority is “to …

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