London conference to discuss UK policy on gay men giving blood
The UK’s policy on gay and bisexual men donating blood will be up for discussion next month at a conference in London.
Campaigners and a range of health experts will be meeting for the day-long event at King’s College London on 12 June.
Confirmed speakers include Su Brailsford, from NHS Blood and Transplant, Sally McManus, of the UK’s National Centre for Research, Josianne Pillonel, from France’s Public Health Surveillance Institute, and the LGBT activist and PinkNews contributor, Chris Ward.
The one-year deferral was chosen in part because of Hepatitis B, which disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men. While there is a four-week window between transmission and detection of HIV, Hepatitis B can take up to a year to be cleared by the body.
Under the new rules, all people – regardless of gender or sexual orientation – will be banned from giving blood for six months after having sex with a new partner, and anyone with multiple sexual partners will remain banned from doing so.