Gay men will now be allowed to donate blood without abstaining from sex, in a historic ruling which sees the British Government finally bin the outdated practice.

The new ruling applies if the donor has been in a monogamous relationship (whether that be purely sexual or as an item) for the last three months, and will come into effect in summer 2021.

This is regardless of gender or the the sex they have. However, single men who have sex with men, will still have to wait three months after anal sex before they can donate, even if they are on PrEP.

NHS Blood and Transport, the special authority which collects blood donations, will now individually assess potential risks through amendments to its donor health check questionnaire.

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It’s a progressive move (from 3-month sex ban regardless of whether you were in a couple and/or only engaged in oral sex) which judges individual behaviours.

Su Brailsford, associate medical director at NHS Blood and Transport, said: “Patients rely on the generosity and altruism of donors for their life-saving blood. We are proud to have the safest blood supply in the world and I’m pleased to have concluded that these new changes to donor selection will keep blood just as safe.”

Activists have praised the move as “pioneering”, but as always, there’s work still to be done.

Dr Michael Brady, medical director at charity Terrence Higgins Trust, added: “We will continue to work to ensure that our blood donation service is inclusive, evidence-based and both maximises the numbers who can donate while ensuring our blood supply is safe.”