Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-03981: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 27 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the tweet by Mark McDonald on 15 October 2016 regarding the support that had been received for motion S5M-01537, whether this indicates that ministers have agreed to take the action referred to in the motion regarding allowing men who have sex with men to donate blood.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 10 November 2016

Men who have sex with men (MSM) can currently donate blood under certain circumstances. Men who last had oral or anal sex with another man more than 12 months ago are able to give blood if they meet the other blood donor selection criteria.

The UK Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) advises Scottish Ministers and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) on the most appropriate ways to ensure the safety of blood for transfusion. SaBTO is currently undertaking a review of the latest scientific evidence related to donor selection criteria, including deferral criteria for MSM. It is expected to report next year. We will await SaBTO’s report and take account of any recommendations it makes before considering any changes to current donor deferral criteria.