The Rainbow Project welcomed the announcement, from Health Minister Robin Swann MLA on Monday 14th December, of the change in blood donation rules for Northern Ireland which will allow donations from gay and bi men who have had the same partner for the previous three months.
Reacting to this change in donation rules Director of The Rainbow Project John O’Doherty said:
‘This is an incredibly significant and welcome announcement from the Department of Health. For more than 12 years, The Rainbow Project has been campaigning for the removal of the irrational and discriminatory barriers to blood donations from gay and bi men and we want to thank Robin Swann for engaging with experts on this issue and following the evidence when making this decision.
‘This has been a difficult year, but one that has reminded us of our public duty to protect and support each other. Giving blood is not a right, it is a public duty and we encourage everyone who is able to donate blood.’
‘For many years, Northern Ireland was behind the other jurisdictions of the UK on this issue and now we are leaders.
‘If anyone is concerned about these changes in blood donation rules, they should know that this policy has been affirmed by the SaBTO, who have confirmed that this will have no negative impact on the safe supply of blood.’
Notes to editors
For further comment please contact
John O’Doherty, Director – 07780996875
Gavin Boyd, Policy Manager – 07883945157