In many different countries, they have strict rules that you must adhere to if you wish to give blood. While these are primarily to ensure that no blood donated can cause issues to the receiver, some of the rules can be seen as prejudice and unfair.
Some countries are considering adjusting the rules so that more can donate. Ireland is one of those countries, and so it seems that gay men may soon be able to give blood, just as they can in Wales.
The reason that gay men cannot give blood in certain countries is because of rules that were put in place at the very height of the AIDS crisis. People believed that, if gay men were to give blood, HIV would spread far more quickly. The ban seemed the quickest way to deal with this issue and stop it from happening.
The permanent ban meant that any man who had had sex with a man (whether HIV positive or not) was unable to give blood. Even if you had done it once you would not be allowed to give blood. At all.
This rule does, of course, ignore the fact that safe sex can prevent the transfer of STIs and STDs from person to person, and that sleeping with a man once does not automatically mean you have AIDS.
In a way, you can understand why they were cautious. When the AIDS crisis first hit, detecting it in the blood was an expensive challenge that meant blood would not get to those in need as fast as it does now. However, permanently banning all gay men for having sex just the once? That was an over-reaction.
Wales, England, and Scotland are some of the countries who have already removed this ban and put other rules in place to allow for gay men to give blood, if they so wish to.
Modern science and technology have changed so much that more advanced screening can be done of the blood, to ensure it is healthy.
While the rules are still quite strict, in that a 12 month deferral system is in place, gay men can now give blood. Sure, it still seems harsh that they have to have not had sex with another man for an entire year before they can give blood, but surely that it better than a permanent ban?
The Republic of Ireland are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Wales, England, and Scotland, after seeing how effective this new system is. This is fantastic news for gay men in Ireland, and for gay men in Wales too. This could only mean more acceptance in the future!
However, for Northern Ireland, it seems that they are sticking with the ban. Perhaps, when they see how effective it is in the Republic of Ireland following the successes around the world, they will reconsider.
What do you think about this new rule? Is it too harsh? Is there something else that could be done to ensure they only get healthy blood? Visit the Escort Wales forum to join the debate, or comment in the box below to share your thoughts.
Since then she has gained a fine reputation with her blogs on sex advice, sexual health and amusing news stories from around the globe. She is also a campaigner for the rights of sex workers from all over the world.
In her spare time, Lara keeps herself active by going running, and is something of a film buff. She also loves to go travelling.