Blood donation: partners of bi men no longer doubly stigmatised
As we reported earlier today the blood donation rules are to change for men who have sex with men.
They faced a lifetime ban from diving blood in the UK from the 1980s until rules were relaxed under the Coalition government. For the past five years they have instead faced a 12 month ban. If you are a man who has had sex with another man in the past 12 months you can’t give blood – no matter how safe the sex you had, whether you have since tested clear for HIV and other infections, there’s a blanket 12 month bar to donating.
The government has announced that this will, at some point in the new year, be reduced to a 3 month ban.
The rule however has a lesser-known aspect that the female partners of men who have had sex with another man remain barred from giving blood – even after the 12 month window has passed.
The Department of Health have confirmed to BCN today that the proposed changes unveiled over the weekend will include a relaxation of that ‘double jeopardy’ clause and so starting in 2018 bi men’s girlfriend, whether straight, bi or something else, will no longer face an extra stigmatising ban from donating blood because of who they happen to be dating.