Luke Pollard MP has called on gay and bisexual men in Plymouth and the wider South West region to register to give blood as a change in rules from today means many who were ineligible can finally donate for the first time.
Previously, blood donation rules meant that many gay and bisexual men were not eligible to give blood – a rule that many dubbed as discriminatory and based on “broad assumptions about sexuality”. New rules mean that people will now be assessed on their eligibility to give blood based on their individual behaviour, rather than on these assumptions.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“This is a landmark moment. As Plymouth’s first ever openly gay MP I have been supporting this campaign since I was elected. Lifting the unfair rules not only means gay and bisexual men are no longer being discriminated against it should mean more people are able to donate blood.
“I am calling on all gay and bisexual men in the South West to donate blood. Book your blood donation slot now. Donating blood saves lives and now the discriminatory rules have been lifted, let’s get donating.”
The NHS GiveBlood service has said that if you have previously been unable to give blood because of the guidelines and would like to donate, you can call them on 0300 123 23 23, or book an appointment with the Plymouth Blood Donor Centre.