It is much easier now for gay men to be donors

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Until now, blood donation rules across the UK banned men who have sex with men from giving blood if they have been sexually active within a year, to avoid the risk of HIV transmission, but advances of screening technologies allowed to provide changes. New rules come into effect from this week, reducing the 12-month deferral period to 3 months. This means that gay and bisexual men are now eligible to donate blood if they abstain from sex for just three months. The changed rules have come into effect on November 27-28 across Great Britain. Scottish LGBTI equality charity, the Equality Network, has welcomed the new rules claiming they would be helpful to tackle stigma around gay and bi men. The blood donation rules were changed after the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments instructed their respective blood services to implement the recommendations of a recent review of blood donor criteria and risk assessment by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), which advises health ministers and departments for health across the UK.

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