WHAT’S THE ISSUE?
Under current guidelines, there are a number of restrictions around who is able to donate blood. This includes a 12 month deferral criterion on those classed as MSM (Men who have sex with Men) and a complete blanket ban on anyone who has ever had sex for money or drugs or ever injected drugs. Scientific advances and new evidence means that such restrictions should be reconsidered in light of the urgent need to maintain our supply of blood.
The UK government’s advisory committee, The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) undertook a review in 2011 into the deferral criteria that we are campaigning on. Based on the scientific and statistical evidence they had, they made recommendations that were subsequently adopted on the deferral criteria of those able to give blood.
Over four years later and in light of the advancements made not only in screening capabilities, but in immunisation levels, the time has come to once again look at who should be able to donate blood. Excluding people who may be able to donate threatens a sufficient supply of blood, something 1 in 4 of us will rely on at some point in our life.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
Signing our petition will help demonstrate the public support for this policy and will strengthen our position with decision makers who have the power to change these rules. You can also show your support by contacting us and telling us why you support the #FreedomToDonate using the contact form which can be found here.