Wales will now allow LGBT+ people to donate blood as part of a four-nations agreement.
Restrictions set by SABTO (the UK advisory committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs) previously prevented many LGBT+ people donating blood.
The Welsh Blood Service (WBS) will prepare for the lifting of the restrictions and make changes to the questions asked by donors in an effort to move away from blanket restrictions and to a more personalised assessment.
The new assessment will not take into account a donor’s sex, gender or sexual orientation.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said today: “This announcement will put an end to the discrimination many people in the LGBT+ community have faced. So many people have worked so hard to get us to this position.
“With the great progress and certainty that our medical experts and systems have brought, we can now remove the barriers that have long been in place and that have meant that some LGBT+ people cannot easily donate blood.”
First Minister, Mark Drakeford, described the news as “momentous”.
He said: “Blood donation can change people’s lives and it is only right that everyone who can give blood, should be given the opportunity to help others. This is a great day for the LGBT+ community and a great day for blood donation.
“This is a momentous announcement, which I very much welcome.”
Previously, gay and bi men were barred from donating blood unless they abstained from sexual intercourse with another man for three months despite enormous criticism.
Viewed as an enormous step towards social equality, people and organisations took to social media in droves to commend the announcement.
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Blood Equality Wales’ Co-founder, Alexander Bryant-Evans, said on Twitter: “Thank you Vaughan Gething for working will us at Blood Equality Wales.
“This is truly a momentous day and one in which Wales, along with the rest of the UK, takes another step in the direction of true social equality. Thank you.”