Blood donor criteria updated

22 December 2020

Article: 54/5103

Changes to the questions asked of blood donors will ensure more gay and bisexual men are able to donate blood in the future. Currently, men are not able to donate blood in the UK if they have had sex with another man in the past three months, in-line with previous expert advice.

New recommendations, which the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) is satisfied will continue to ensure blood safety, mean men will no longer be automatically barred from giving blood if they have had sex with another man in the last three months. Instead, each person will be given a more individual risk assessment, which will involve all potential donors being asked a few additional questions about their sexual behaviour. The changes follow recommendations by the specialist steering group for Assessment of Individualised Risk (FAIR), made up of leading medical and academic experts and LGBTI+ groups. 

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) will ensure there is information available for donors to explain the reasons for the changes, and to give reassurance that all information provided by donors is kept strictly in confidence.

Source: Scottish Government, 14 December 2020