“For those who don’t know I, as a gay man, was completely unable to donate blood until very recently due to a set of outdated rules that discriminated against gay and bisexual men. But thanks to a lengthy campaign from the Terrence Higgins Trust, Freedom to donate, the All-Party Parliamentary Group and MPs, the rules were changed in June.
Now that we have won that fight, it’s time to spread the word and get people donating. Eligibility for donating blood is now – at long last – determined on individual risk factors not blanket policies that discriminate against gay men.
I’ve now given blood a few times since the rule change, and I still get a bit emotional when I do. Not because of the needle, which I’m admittedly not a fan of, but because this simple act of charity was previously denied to so many people like me.
The pint of blood I recently donated is now being tested, and before long it’ll be used on a ward somewhere in our NHS. It’s a pint of blood that could potentially help save someone’s life, and if the rules hadn’t changed it wouldn’t be there.”
Luke Pollard MP has recently donated blood after a landmark change in the rules in June allowed gay and bisexual men to donate for the first time.
Commenting on Facebook Luke wrote:
More information on giving blood in Plymouth is available here