Northern Ireland relaxed gay blood donation ban

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In the rest of UK gay and bisexual men can donate blood if they avoided sex for a year and more, but Northern Ireland did not accept this rule. But it made a step forward this year, when the health brief was handed to Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin – who immediately moved to bring Northern Ireland’s blood donation rules in line with the rest of the UK.

According to the new rule MSM in Northern Ireland will be able to donate blood according to the conditions in the rest of UK. It comes amid a broader review of the blood donation policy in England and Wales, which may see the deferral system relaxed further or axed in favour of a policy based on screening for individual risk factors, as operates in some other European countries.

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