But you can still only give blood as a gay or bi man if you’ve not had sex for a year
Northern Ireland has lifted the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood today (1 September).
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill announced the new policy, which will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood after not having sex for a year, which will bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK.
She said: ‘The safety of donated blood depends on two things: donor selection and the testing of blood.
‘Every blood donation is tested for HIV and a number of other organisms.
‘Not even the most advanced tests are 100% reliable, so it is vitally important for every donor to comply with any deferral rules that apply to them.’
In Northern Ireland previously, any man who had sex with another man was banned from giving blood permanently.
England, Scotland and Wales lifted the lifetime ban in November 2011.
In May, the UK Supreme Court ruled the ban should be lifted after the previous health minister Edwin Poots was said to have acted ‘irrationally or with apparent bias’ by keeping the ban in place.
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