We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

An Outdated Policy

Update - Welsh Lib Dems vote to repeal the ban

At their Spring Conference in Llandudno in February 2008, the Welsh Lib Dems voted to repeal the ban on gay and bisexual men, and their female partners, donating blood.

Time for a rethink on the blood donation ban

The Liberal Democrat Spokeswoman for Women and Equality has called for a review of the ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, which also affects the female partners of bi men.

Speaking ahead of World Blood Donor Day in 2006, Lorely Burt MP said: "Anyone who has ever given blood should be applauded for their invaluable service saving the lives of others. The Government needs to look very carefully, however, at whether the current exclusion criteria are the most fair and effective way of ruling out individuals at high risk of HIV and other infections from giving blood.

"This ban can only be justified on medical evidence that inclusion of these individuals substantially increases the transmission risk of HIV and other infections. The Government must review this evidence on a regular basis, considering all the latest screening tests that may make the ban redundant.

"It seems perverse that the current criteria allow a woman to give blood even if she has had hundreds of sexual partners, but exclude a man who has had safe sexual relations with another man only once many years ago."

DELGA Executive member Jen Yockney commented, "The ban is an anachronism from the early 1980s when the transmission of HIV was still not properly understood. It is mistaken, because it restricts blood donations based on sexual orientation rather than sexual behaviour. That was an understandable approach in those early days, but our grasp of HIV and AIDS has moved on a long way since then. For many years now it has been clear that what matters is not who you are having sex with, but how you are having sex."

"The blood donation rules, through their blanket-ban approach, blur the message about safer sex as well as needlessly restricting the supply of blood. Change is long overdue."