News Daily Spot: The Republic of Ireland will allow donation of blood to homosexuals

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The Republic of Ireland will allow donation of blood to homosexuals

The Irish government announced today that it will lift the current ban on blood donation imposed on homosexuals, given the evidence that will not increase the risk of disease transmission.

Health Minister, Simon Harris, has taken this decision after analyzing the recommendations made in a comprehensive report by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS, its acronym in English).

The new rules allow gay men to donate blood twelve months after their last sexual encounter with another man five years after they have been declared free of sexually transmitted diseases.

In the Republic of Ireland, gay men can not donate blood since Dublin has introduced his measure in the 80 to stop the advance of AIDS.

In the neighboring United Kingdom, the authorities lifted this restriction in 2011 and homosexuals who have not been intimate with another man over a period of one year can donate blood in England, Scotland and Wales, while Northern Ireland joined this measure last June 2.

Harris today thanked "the work done by the IBTS" in recent years so that the government can now develop a "robust" plan of action to undertake "a reform of its grant policy, and explain their rationale and implications".

"Whenever you are completing this action plan we set a date to determine the beginning of the new measures," the minister said in a statement.

Following a two-day conference held in Dublin last April the IBTS said his studies show that in any country where there is no ban has detected an increased risk of transmitting infections such as HIV.

Its director, William Murphy, said then that Ireland could follow the British example, since in that country has not detected an increased risk of contamination of the blood donated by gay men.

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