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Northern Ireland to Lift Lifetime Ban on Blood Donations from Gay, Bisexual Men 

Northern Ireland to Lift Lifetime Ban on Blood Donations from Gay, Bisexual Men

Northern Ireland to Lift Lifetime Ban on Blood Donations from Gay, Bisexual Men

Men who have sex with men will still have to go through one year of celibacy before they can qualify to donate. 

After Sept. 1, gay and bisexual men will finally be allowed to donate blood in Northern Ireland--if they spend a whole year not having sex, that is.

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill made the announcement that the region will be joining the rest of the U.K. in allowing donation by gay men after a one-year period of abstaining from sex.

Said O'Neill: "The safety of donated blood depends on two things: donor selection and the testing of blood. Every blood donation is tested for HIV and a number of other organisms."

The rest of the U.K. lifted the ban last month.

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