Jan 28, 2020

TCDSU to Campaign on 12-Month MSM Blood Donation Ban

The ban currently prevents some gay men from donating blood.

Orla MurnaghanEditor-at-large
Alex Connolly for The University Times

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has voted in favour of starting a campaign to remove the current 12 month ban on gay men donating blood in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service

The union is now also mandated to “aim to achieve an individualised risk assessment in place of the 12 month ban”

Under the current system, men who have had sex with men (MSM) must wait for 12 months after their last sexual contact before being elible to donate blood in Ireland, even if using a condom or pre or post exposure prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP).


The motion was proposed by TCDSU LGBT Rights Officer Thomas O’Neill and was seconded by Welfare Officer Aisling Leen.

Speaking in favour of the motion, O’Neill said that the ban “doesn’t match 21st century standards”, and that the “virus doesn’t specifically attack a gay man”.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service says that “international experience has shown that a one year deferral is as effective as a lifetime deferral from the point of view of protecting the blood supply against the risk of HIV transmission”.

The previous lifelong ban on MSM blood donations was lifted on January 16th, 2017.

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