For over 15 years, the Liberal Democrats have been leading the campaign to move away from a stigma-based approach to blood donations. Current rules say that men who have sex with men cannot donate blood unless they abstain from sex for 3 months.
These rules restrict blood donations based on sexual orientation rather than sexual behavior. That was an understandable approach in the 1980s when the transmission of HIV and Aids was not properly understood, but our grasp of HIV and AIDS has moved on a long way since then. For many years now it has been clear that what matters is not who you are having sex with, but how you are having sex.
It is wrong that the current criteria allow a woman to give blood even if she has had hundreds of sexual partners, but exclude a man who has had safe sexual relations with another man.
We, the undersigned, call on the Government to end the homophobic blood ban rules which prevent gay men donating blood without abstaining from sex for 3 months.