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U.K. Eases Gay Blood Ban

U.K. Eases Gay Blood Ban

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The Telegraphreports that British officials are preparing to lift that nation's ban on gay men donating blood, but the change comes with a caveat -- those who had sex in the last decade are still banned.

In Britain, men who have sex with men have previously not been allowed to donate blood because of fear over HIV contamination. An advisory group found that should gay men be allowed to donate blood, and they haven't had sex in five years, the risk of contamination to the blood supply would go up less than 5%. Making the rule 10 years instead of five halved that number, and officials ultimately decided that was a safer choice.

A Government source told The Telegraph: “A complete ban is unfair and discriminatory but we need to protect public health, so the 10-year rule is what is being considered.”

Since 1985, the U.S. policy has been that any man who had sex with another man since 1977 is banned from donating.
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