Luke Pollard MP donated blood last week following a law change which has lifted the ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood.
Thanks to a campaign by the Terrence Higgins Trust, Freedom to Donate, Stonewall, the All Party Blood Group and multiple MPs, the new rules came into effect on 14 June. It now means gay and bisexual men are treated the same as straight people with eligibility to donate calculated based on an individual’s risk factors, not just their sexuality.
Luke had recently made a call in the Plymouth Herald for gay and bisexual men to give blood. In a post on Facebook, he wrote:
“Giving blood saves lives and I must admit it was a bit emotional. The blood donor staff told me that they’ve had so many first-time donors since the rules changed with people really quite determined that they’re going to do their bit to donate blood now they’re eligible.
Not everyone can donate blood, but if you can, please book yourself an appointment and help do your bit. My pint of blood is now going through tests before being deployed somewhere in the NHS – that’s an extra pint of blood that wasn’t possible before the rules changed.”
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.