A lifetime ban on blood donations by men who had had sex with another man was put in place in the UK in the 1980s as a response to the spread of AIDS and HIV.
The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (Sabto) new rules state that men who have not had homosexual sex within a year will be able to donate if they meet certain other criteria. Men who have had anal or oral sex with another man in the past 12 months, with or without a condom, will still not be eligible to donate blood, the DoH said.
The move will be implemented in England, Scotland and Wales starting today
The Terrence Higgins Trust sexual health charity welcomed the change, which would ensure a safe blood supply that was also ‘fair and equal’.
But human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell called the 12-month ban on sex ‘excessive and unjustified’