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Gay and bisexual men to be able to donate blood in Malta as early as February next year

The news comes after health authorities reveal new equipment which screens blood donations

By Steve Brown

Gay and bisexual men will be allowed to donate blood in Malta by next February.

Health Minister Chris Fearne confirmed the news this week as health authorities invested in new equipment to screen blood donations and reduce the risk of transmitting infections, Malta Today reported.

Fearne revealed the new equipment would be in placed in around six months’ time.

Currently, just like in the UK, gay, bisexual and men who sleep with men are unable to donate blood in a bid to prevent the transmission of HIV.

However, with the introduction of the nucleic acid testing (NAT) equipment, they will no longer be prohibited.

At the launched of the mobile blood transfusion unit, Fearne urged people to donate blood as around 50 bags a day are required throughout the year.

Last year, there were reportedly a total of 16,000 blood donations with around 2,000 people registered as new donors.