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Committee to consider whether gay men should donate blood

A technical committee has been appointed to consider and make recommendations on whether gay men should be allowed to donate blood.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Chris Fearne said the decision was taken following a request by the LGBTIQ community for the ban on blood donations to be lifted.

He said the technical team will consider what risk existed and how it could be mitigated. A political decision would be taken after the report is concluded.

Dr Fearne made his comments as he visited the blood donations centre. He explained that this was the time of year when demand for blood increased, but donations dropped for various reasons, not least because many people were on holiday.

He noted, however, that while an average of 35 people donate blood every day, there was a surge of 350 people between Wednesday and yesterday after an appeal when available stocks declined.

He thanked the donors and urged more people to donate blood regularly.

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