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NAT comments - lifetime ban on gay men donating blood in Northern Ireland is 'irrational'.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NAT welcomes Friday's  ruling in the High Court of Belfast that the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood in Northern Ireland is 'irrational'.  
 


Northern Ireland has been out of step with the rest of the UK on this issue for two years, with England, Scotland and Wales overturning the lifetime ban in 2011 in the face of scientific evidence.   
 
Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT, says: "NAT hopes that following this judgement, Northern Ireland will end its lifetime ban and will also adopt the 12 month deferral rule used in the rest of the UK, which is based on current scientific evidence about real risk of HIV and Hepatitis B transmission. It is great to see that decisions based on prejudice - not evidence - are being successfully challenged."
 
Notes: Currently, men who have ever had oral or anal sex with another man (with or without a condom) are permanently excluded from blood donation in Northern Ireland. In the rest of the UK, only men who have had anal or oral sex with another man in the past 12 months (with or without a condom) will be asked not to donate blood. Men whose last relevant sexual contact with another man was more than 12 months ago will be able to donate (subject to meeting the other donor selection criteria). - See more at: http://www.nat.org.uk/Media-and-Blog/Press-Releases/2011/September/Blood...