LGBTQI+ Blood Donor Information


Every blood or platelet donor is asked the same eligibility questions – regardless of the donor’s gender or sexual orientation, or those of their partner. Eligibility criteria reaches across a large range of health and lifestyle questions including sexual behaviours associated with a higher risk of blood-borne infection.

Can Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men Give Blood?

All potential donors including gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, who have had the same partner for 4 months or more, or have had no new partners in the last 4 months, and meet our other eligibility criteria are able to give blood. 

New Sexual Partners

Anyone who has had anal sex with a new partner or multiple partners, regardless of their gender or their partner’s gender, must wait 4 months from that date before donating blood or platelets. This applies even if a condom or other form of protection was used. 

A new sexual partner is someone you did not have sex with before, or a person with whom you resumed a sexual relationship in the past 4 months.

The reasoning for this is that while all donations are tested for some infections that can be passed on by blood transfusions, early stage infection may not always show up on testing – i.e. in the ‘window period.’ 

This is why we must take great care in donor selection and why potential donors must not give blood if they have any reason to believe they may have acquired an infection. Answering questions on the Health & Lifestyle questionnaire on clinic, honestly and accurately to the best of your knowledge is vital, as the risk of transmitting HIV and other STIs is at least 5 times higher by anal sex compared to vaginal sex.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

If you have ever had or been treated for syphilis or gonorrhoea, unfortunately you will not be able to donate.

If you have taken medication to prevent HIV infection i.e. Pre or Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP or PEP), or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection or had sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection (excluding genital herpes and genital warts) you will not be eligible to donate for four months. This is because antivirals such as PrEP/PEP may affect the ability of current screening tests to detect very low levels of virus or antibodies that may harm patients receiving blood.

You should never give blood if you think you or your partner is at risk of HIV or Hepatitis. Even with the best testing, there is a window period, during which infected donated blood could test negative, thus risking infecting patients who receive a blood transfusion.


Chemsex is a type of sexual activity where people take certain drugs such as methamphetamine, mephedrone or GHB/GBL to enhance their sexual experiences, and let them have sex for longer or with more people. The use of alcohol, cannabis, Viagra or other medication for erectile dysfunction is not chemsex.

You will be temporarily deferred if you have taken part in chemsex in the last 4 months.

If you ever injected or were injected with chemsex drugs, you cannot donate.

Transgender Donors

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) welcomes potential donors, including transgender and non-binary donors. All donors are entitled to self-identify their gender as per the Gender Recognition Act 2015. The IBTS does welcome potential donors including transgender and non-binary donors. However, there are some additional medical considerations in relation to transgender and non-binary donors which may impact on their eligibility to donate.

You can find more information about becoming a blood or platelet donor if you are transgender (including non-binary donors) here

When Were These Changes Introduced?

In 2022, the IBTS changed its criteria to assess eligibility on a person-by-person basis, instead of applying across-the-board restrictions, which have previously excluded some potential donors. We assess donors' eligibility to give blood based solely on their own individual experiences, making the process fairer for everyone. You can read more about the Individual Donor Risk Assessment (IDRA) changes here