Log In
Monday 24th October 2016

Are you allowed to give blood?

28th October 2009

A lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men from giving blood is being reviewed.


It is a policy campaigners say is unfair and misplaced.

But while more people are often urged to give blood, there are still those who are banned from donating on grounds of sexual behaviour.

Some people are prevented for health reasons, such as having had a blood transfusion after 1980 or a family member with CJD.

But a man who has had sex with another man is barred, even it happened in the past and he has tested negative for HIV.

Women who have been prostitutes are banned and anyone who has had sex with anyone resident in parts of the world with high HIV rates cannot donate for a year. Those who have injected drugs are also banned for life.

But now the government’s advisory committee on the safety of blood, tissues and organs (SaBTO) is holding a public consultation to review these rules.

The National Blood Service for England and North Wales has to exclude high risk groups to cut the threat of infected blood entering the system because been though blood is screened, some donation may be missed as there is a time delay with some infections in showing a positive result.

If a ban on donations from men who had sex with other men was lifted, estimates suggest the risk of HIV-infected blood entering the supply would rise five-fold.

However, gay rights campaigners say a government that opposes homophobic discrimination cannot possibly uphold the ban.


Share this page


Gillian Turner

Thursday 29th October 2009 @ 11:12

Could I please correct the information given in your article regarding donors from CJD families.

It is only families affected by Genetic CJD that are excluded from giving blood.

Sporadic, vCJD or Iatrogenic CJD families are no more risk to the national blood bank than you or I as these strains of CJD are not heredity. Please visit our website at www.cjdsupport.net to understand CJD or give me a ring on 01630673993 when I will be pleased to correct your understanding of the disease so that your reporter will not make this mistake again.

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based web development for the healthcare sector
© Mayden Foundation 2016