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United Kingdom Blood Donation Evolves

By Charlotte Robinson, December 17, 2020

This week the UK announced that it would loosen restrictions on gay & bisexual men donating blood eliminating its current 3-month deferral period in exchange for individual risk-based assessments. Ethan Spibey, Founder of FreedomToDonate in the UK stated his group has been campaigning for these restrictions to be updated for more than six years & they "warmly welcome" this announcement adding "Simply being a man who has sex with men is not a good enough reason to exclude someone from donating blood." Last April the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) revised recommendations on gay & bisexual men & other LGBTQ people in the United States from donating blood by reducing the deferral period from 12 months to 3 months. Mathew Lasky, GLAAD's Director of Communications stated, "The U.K. has taken a critical step in aligning their blood donation policy with science instead of stigma. As the FDA continues to reconsider its blood donation policies here in the United States, the decision in the United Kingdom offers further proof that US blood donation policies for gay & bisexual men & other LGBTQ people, are outdated, out of line with science & must change to be based on individual assessments rather than discriminatory blanket bans." Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation concluded, “After three decades of state-sponsored homophobia, blood donation discrimination against gay & bisexual men is to end. The new policy is based on risk factors, not sexual orientation.” I talked to Peter a couple years ago about what he hopes to accomplish with his work & his spin on our LGBTQ issues. LISTEN  

For More Info: petertatchellfoundation.org

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