Blood donation rules in Wales to be relaxed

 

The blood donation rules for gay men in Wales are to be relaxed.

At present the rules prohibit any man from giving blood if they have had sex with another man in the past 12 months.

From 2018, that time period will be reduced to three months.

This brings Wales in line with the blood donation rules in England and Scotland.

The rules will also apply to sex workers and people who have sex with a high-risk partner.

The Public Health Minister in Wales Rebecca Evans said: “I want to ensure that as many people as possible are able to donate blood to meet the demand from patients in Wales.

“In Wales and the UK, we’re fortunate to have one of the safest blood supplies in the world. Thanks to advances in medical science, we now have a far better understanding of the way infections are transmitted through blood.

“The changes I’m announcing today will help ensure we keep blood donors and the patients who receive their blood safe, while also ensuring more people have the opportunity to donate blood.”

Stonewall Cymru welcomed the move and said that it should be a “stepping stone to a system that doesn’t automatically exclude most gay and bi men.”