TCDSU LGBT+ Rights Officer to launch campaign to lift MSM blood donation ban

There currently exists a 12 month ban on MSM donating blood

The Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) LGBT+ Rights Officer is to launch a campaign on removing the ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) donating blood within 12 months of their last sexual contact with another man, following a vote at TCDSU Council this evening.

Thomas O’Neill, the union’s current LGBT+ Rights Officer, submitted a motion that was passed by Council stating that he will formulate a campaign “alongside the SU President or SU Welfare Officer”.

The aim of the campaign is to remove the 12 month ban on MSM donating blood in the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. The motion notes that the campaign will aim to have the 12 month ban replaced with an individualised risk assessment for MSM who wish to donate blood. 

The motion was seconded by the union’s Welfare Officer, Aisling Leen.

Proposing the motion to Council, O’Neil outlined that the current ban “doesn’t match with 21st century standards”.

“Somebody could be completely [HIV negative] and still not be permitted to donate blood,” O’Neill continued.

In the 1980s, with the emergence of HIV, a lifelong-ban on MSM donating blood was enacted. The lifelong ban was then changed to a 12 month ban on 16 January 2017. 

Additional reporting by Madalyn Williams.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.