Fairer assessment for blood donors

22 June 2021

Article: 55/2508

On 14 June 2021, changes to the questions people are asked before they are accepted as blood donors came into effect, meaning all potential donors are treated equally. The changes, implemented on World Blood Donor Day, will allow more men who have sex with men (MSM), and people whose partners have previously lived in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, to give blood if they meet the other blood donation criteria. Questions about recent sexual activity will be the same for all donors, regardless of their sexuality.

The changes follow recommendations by the specialist research group For Assessment of Individualised Risk (FAIR), made up of medical and academic experts and LGBTI+ groups. However, it should be noted that people will still be unable to donate where there is evidence of recent sexual activity that could lead to a higher risk of a donor having blood-borne virus infection.

Source: Scottish Government, 14 June 2021