Criteria changes for gay and bisexual men to donate blood

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has announced changes to the criteria for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Commencing from today, the current deferral period for men who have sex with other men will be shortened from 12 months to four months.

The deferral of any person who takes pre or post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP or PEP) – taken to reduce the risk of contracting HIV – is also reduced to four months.

The aim of these changes is to make blood donation more inclusive and to welcome additional donors from the LGBT+ community.

IBTS said this is an interim measure and will be followed later in the year by an individualised risk assessment of donors’ sexual behaviours.

The next blood donation clinics for Co Wicklow will take place this Thursday in Tinahely at the Community Centre School and in Bray at St Cronans National School.

All clinics run on an appointment-only basis.

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