In the UK, policymakers are reviewing a lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men that bars them from donating blood. In such a scenario, it becomes important to now exactly who is ineligible for donating blood.
The government's advisory committee on the safety of blood, tissues and organs (SaBTO) is due to hold a public consultation to asses if the lifetime ban on gay men is justified.
AdvertisementCurrently rules say that anyone who has ever worked as a prostitute or any man who has had sex with another man is banned for giving blood. Additionally anyone who has ever had syphilis, human T-lymphotropic virus, hepatitis B or C is also banned for life from blood donation.
Many gay rights groups view these rules as being discriminatory, Says gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, "It is based on the stererotyped, irrational, bigoted and unscientific assumption that any man who has had oral or anal sex with another man - even just once 40 years ago with a condom - is high risk for HIV. This is nonsense."