Blood donation laws for gay men relaxed under new equality reforms

Gay men will be able to donate blood three months after having sex rather than having to wait a year.

New equalities reforms, announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening, will also allow transgender people to choose their legal gender more easily.

Fears over infections being passed on through donations from gay men led to an outright ban at the height of the Aids epidemic but in 2011 the law was changed to mean gay men could donate but only 12 months after intercourse. And medical advances mean the time limit will now be reduced again under plans for the NHS in England.

Ms Greening, who is also equalities minister, said the Government was building on the progress on tackling prejudice made in the 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

She said: "We will build on the significant progress we have made over the past 50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them."

The government will also be consulting on reforms that would mean transgender people will no longer need a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria before changing their sex legally.

Ms Greening said she wanted to cut the stigma faced by transpeople, who have to provide evidence that they have been in transition for at least two years before they can apply to legally change their gender.

CHLOE CHAPLAIN Evening Standard

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