Minister to accept lifting of lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

The IBTS board met last week to vote on whether the ban should be overturned

Vera Twomey, cannabis, medicine, Dravet syndrome, Ava, Simon Harris

Simon Harris speaking to the media at Government Buildings | Image:

The Health Minister Simon Harris has announced he is accepting the recommendation to lift the ban on gay men donating blood.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has called for men who have sex with men to be allowed donate 12 months after having intercourse.

It will also see a five year deferral for those who have suffered from a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI).

Minister Harris says the new one year deferral system will bring Ireland in line with the rules in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

It is not yet known when the new rules will come into place.

The IBTS board met last week and voted that the ban should be overturned.

It formally recommend to the health minister that blood can be donated by men who have not had sex with another man for a period of 12 months.

Minister Harris told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk this decision is the right one.

While Brian Sheehan of GLEN says it is positive news for the LGBT community.