Before 2011, gay or bisexual men were banned for life from donating blood no matter what. This was eventually thrown out of course, with gay men now being able to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man for a year.
According to a report posted by Newsletter, there is significant data which shows the safety of blood donations in the UK has risen since the lifetime ban has lifted.
This claim comes from the Department of Health, who said that ““two significant new sets of data indicated that the risk to blood safety from MSM donations had in fact decreased since the change of policy in Great Britain”.
They also said that “surveillance data derived from the tests carried out on every blood donation in England, Scotland and Wales since the policy change [show] that there fewer infections are being detected in donated blood”.
While there has been no increase in the amount of people giving blood after the ban was lifted, this is due to a policy of trying to reduce the amount of blood donations received by the public, since improvements to surgery techniques have decreased demand.
Still, the fact that the risk to blood safety has decreased since the ban certainly adds further strength to the push for the year wait to be removed. Even though the laws now on blood donations from gay and bisexual men are better, they are still rather draconian when all blood donated is regularly screened for infection.