Dilemma of balancing equality with risks

Relaxing the ban on gay men donating blood will increase the risk of infections

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
25th January, 2015
Every ten or 20 years, a poorly-understood disease has spread due to blood transfusionsPicture: Getty

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar recently received a comprehensive report from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) that outlined various options for future policy on blood donations from men who have sex with men (called MSM).

The options include maintaining the status quo; lifting the ban entirely; or introducing a shorter deferral period.

Varadkar favours changing the ban to a one-year deferral, which means MSM would have to wait for a year after they have...

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