IBTS to discuss ending ban on gay men donating blood

IBTS to discuss ending ban on gay men donating blood

There is speculation the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board (IBTS) may recommend lifting the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood when they meet later today.

The move follows a recent legal challenge here.

In July of last year, a 23-year-old student from Castlegar in Galway began a High Court challenge, after he was banned from donating blood in Ireland.

The decision not to take Tomás Heneghan's blood last May came after he disclosed having a sexual encounter with another man six months earlier.

Mr Heneghan said he had undergone various tests after having had sex, all of which proved negative.

His lawyers said that refusing to take his blood was discriminatory, disproportionate and contrary to EU law.

This ban was introduced in the mid-1980s at a time when fear around AIDS was at its highest.

Top level experts are in Dublin today to discuss the most recent medical and scientific evidence and look at whether it is time to change the current rules.

The final decision will be taken by the Health Minister Leo Varadkar.


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