Blood donation gets more equal and inclusive

I was smiling a lot on Monday. On World Blood Donation Day, in the middle of Pride Month, the blood donation rules changed so that they were the same whatever your sexuality.

A decade ago, men who had ever had sex with men were completely banned from giving blood. The rules have been gradually relaxed since then but we now have a more equal system based on a level playing field.

This means that many gay and bisexual men can now give blood, whereas before we lost out on their donations.

This applies over England, Scotland and Wales.

My friend Euan was one of them.

Euan was involved with the then Liberal Youth Scotland’s Freshers campaign to end the blood ban in 2010. The year before, LYS had brought a motion to Scottish Conference calling for an evidence based, scientific approach to this issue.

They kept pushing on this. Euan and his co-President Hannah Bettsworth led a campaign on the issue when they were co-Presidents of LYS a few years later.

It made me really happy that their campaigning over years worked. These things are now decided on the basis of scientific evidence because people campaigned and took up the issue.

The Liberal Democrats have been working to bring this about for 15 years.

The party tweeted its timeline:

This LDV piece on the subject from 2011 has a video with Lynne Featherstone and Brian Paddick talking about the issue, pointing out that a monogomaous gay man could not give blood while a heterosexual person with multiple partners and therefore a much greater risk, could.

It was so good to see so many of my gay and bisexual friends giving blood for the first time.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • This is fantastic and well overdo.

    I had been denied giving blood for years due to my sexuality and despite being in a monogamous relationship for 21 years.

    Sadly, I can no longer give blood now due to being on blood thinners, but the fact that I could if not for the meds is welcome news and feels like one less piece of being labelled differently to others

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