Sweden to lift lifetime blood donation ban for gay men

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Sweden will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood so long as they have not had sex with a man in the last 12 months.

In a statement released today, which is World AIDS Day, the National Board of Health and Welfare confirmed the change.

The ban will be lifted on March 1st, 2010.

The country will impose a one-year blood donation on all people having “risky” sex, which includes gay sex.

Monica Axelsson, a spokeswoman for the health board, told AFP that donors would have to fill in a questionnaire about their sex lives and all blood would be tested before being used.

Men who have sex with another man are currently barred from donating blood for life in the UK.

A number of groups such as National AIDS Trust, Stonewall and the Anthony Nolan Trust have all previously supported the lifetime ban but are now against it.

The government’s Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) is currently undertaking a review of whether the comprehensive ban should remain. It is expected to report back next year.