To celebrate World Blood Donor Day on Monday, 14 June, the UK government improved the NHS blood-donation safety checklist to include gay and bisexual men. The new changes to the NHS blood-donation eligibility will be based on health, travel, and sexual behaviour. If a prospective blood donor has had the same sexual partner for the past three months they will be eligible to donate blood regardless of gender. Previously, NHS Blood and Transplant assigned a higher risk to queer men donors and it is now moving towards a more individualised assessment of donors rather than focusing on a social group or population.
"Patient safety is at the heart of everything we do," Ella Poppitt, the chief nurse for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said in a press statement. "This change is about switching around how we assess the risk of exposure to a sexual infection, so it is more tailored to the individual. . . . We are asking all blood, plasma and platelet donors to please consider the new questions alongside the existing health and travel questions before their appointment, and to re-schedule if they do not meet the changed criteria to donate right now. We want donation to be a positive experience and we are looking forward to welcoming donors as we move forward with these changes."