'Blood donation rule changes step in right direction for LGBT community' - Pride Chair
The chair of Pride in Gloucestershire has said that a rule change that means more people from the LGBT can now donate blood is a "great step forward."
Jayjay Potter-Peachy said that the new guidelines will help to promote a fairer and non-discriminatory blood donation service.
The move, which will be implemented across the UK from June 14, will mean men who have sex with men in a long-term relationship will be able to donate blood and plasma.
The criteria now mean that all donors who have had one sexual partner and who have been with their sexual partner for three months will be eligible to donate, regardless of their gender, the gender of their partner.
"Personally I am really pleased," said Jayjay.
"It is a step in the right direction for the community for sure.
"It is no longer based on sexual orientation it is now based on the individual themselves which is fantastic. It is a brilliant step forward."
All donors regardless of gender will now be asked the same questions regardless of sexuality.
An ITV poll found that 85% of gay, bisexual or transexual men said the rule changes are important to them and will impact their lives.
The poll also found that 50% said they are now more likely to donate blood in the future and that 32% now intended to do so over the next few months.
Phillip Carter-Graham, works for NHS Blood and Transplants and he said he is looking forward to finally being able to donate himself.
"I wear my badges with pride but the badge I want the most is my first plasma donation badge," he said.
"The new checks will be much fairer across all genders and sexualities."