A young gay man says he has been the victim of discrimination by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, after he was asked to attend a meeting to answer questions about his sexual life and was then told to stop donating blood until he had received written confirmation he could continue.
The IBTS has a lifetime ban from donating blood on any man who has ever had oral sex or anal sex with another man. This is, the blood banks says, to protect the blood supply. Potential donors are asked to fill in a â€œhealth and lifestyle questionnaireâ€ to assess eligibility to donate. Among those who can never give blood in Ireland are anyone who has been an intravenous drug-user, anyone who has spent more than a year in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996 and men who have sex with men (MSM).