The more blood-obsessed or news savvy of you may already know this, but its pretty interesting. In England, Scotland and Wales
Gay men who have not had homosexual sex within a year will be able to donate if they meet certain other criteria.
Those other criteria are the same as anyone else wanting to donate. As we’ve talked about before there are restrictions with weight and health and a stand down period after babies, tattoos and things.
This is great because it no longer excludes a group of people from donation for an assumed reason. Hetero men can have all the unprotected female anal sex they want, wait a year and then donate. ‘mo sex is different only in gender so should be treated no different. And now it isn’t. A one year gap between anal sex and donation. In other countries:
In Sweden, Japan, and Australia, the wait is one year. In New Zealand, it’s five. In South Africa, six months from a man’s last same-sex encounter is enough. In Italy, the restriction lasts for four months after sex with a new partner.
The lifetime ban of gay blood was introduced at the beginnings of the HIV epidemic 1981, while testing was only just being developed reliable test developed in 1985 and there was no complex understanding of HIV transmission.
Now we have a super reliable three phase system to ensure the safety of blood donations including interviews, blood screening and more tests. Science backs up the assurance that a one year stand down before donating doesn’t change the risk of HIV. It is great to see such a big and scary ban be changed through logic and rational inclusivity. Progress.
Here is a great American breakdown of the history of the ban, development of safeguards in donation and great info about HIV.