The SNP has condemned a “prejudiced” ban on men giving blood for one year after having sex with other men.
Delegates at the SNP conference in Inverness backed a motion criticising the UK Health Department’s Scientific Advisory Committee’s proposal to replace a lifetime ban on gay blood donations with a one year prohibition after gay sex as “wholly inadequate”.
The SNP affirmed that they want Scotland to be the first nation in the UK to treat gay men who practice safe sex and wish to donate blood equally with heterosexual donors.
Glasgow Cathcart delegate Stewart McDonald said: “It is a discriminatory policy based not entirely on research, but instead partly on prejudice on homosexuality.
“I should say from the outset that the change in policy to remove a lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, to move to a one year ban from the last session of intercourse, is a welcome step forward.
“It does mean that many gay and bisexual men who were previously unable to give blood will now be able to do so.”
However, he said the policy would still mean that the “vast majority” of gay men who practice safe sex and test HIV negative will still be unable to give blood.