Ireland has lifted the ban on gay men donating blood.
In the move announced by Health Minister Simon Harris, gay men will from this week be able to donate blood if they meet the other blood donor selection criteria, including a one-year deferral for men who have sex with men.
In other changes, those diagnosed with an STD cannot give a blood donation for five years after completing treatment for the infection.
“The [Irish Blood Transfusion Service] provides a safe, reliable and robust blood service to the Irish health system and has the necessary programmes and procedures in place to protect both donors and recipients of blood and blood products. Furthermore, the IBTS will continue to keep all deferral policies under active review.”
According to the Independent, while only three percent of the eligible population of Ireland are active blood donors, 25 percent of people will require a blood transfusion in their lifetime.
In June 2016, Northern Ireland Health Minister Michelle O’Neill announced an end to the lifetime ban on blood donation by gay men.
(Image via Wikimedia)
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