Change the Blood Donation Criteria for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)

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The lifetime ban on blood donation in Ireland for Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) was lifted in January 2017.  However, MSM cannot donate blood if they have had sex in the past 12 months, ruling out many potential donors.

The reason for this is that MSM are deemed, by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, to be at 'high risk' of having infections that can be transmitted through donation, such as HIV.

We propose that everyone should be screened for high risk sexual behaviours regardless of their sexual orientation. This could be in place instead of deferring MSM from donating for one year after their last sexual encounter.

Considering European Union countries such as Spain and Italy have employed a risk screening procedure for everyone, it is not unrealistic that Ireland follow suit.



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