Tory MP Michael Fabricant has attacked the government for its lack of research into current restrictions of men who have sex with men (MSM) donating blood.
MSMs are currently banned from donating blood in England, Scotland and Wales if they have had sexual contact with another man within the last 12 months, regardless of their relationship status or whether they used condoms. A lifetime ban on MSMs giving blood was lifted in 2011 - though it remains in place in Northern Ireland
Mr Fabricant, who has campaigned for current restrictions to be eased, asked the Department of Health whether it had researched the prevalence of viral diseases like HIV or Hepatitis B in men who are married or in civil partnerships and compared this with other sexually active gay men.
When Minister for Public Health Jane Ellison answered there was "no such comparative research has been undertaken", Mr Fabricant responded that there could be "no clear basis" for the blanket ban.
He called for more research to be undertaken, adding that the restrictions should be reduced to 6-9 months and should not apply to monogamous couples or those who practice safe sex.
Highlighting recent shortages of NHS blood stocks, the 65-year-old said that "illogical bans on donors" must be stopped.
Last December, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell called on the UK government
to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood within 3 months of having sex, describing the current 12 month ban as “unjustified discrimination based on sexual orientation”.
Meanwhile, as new video which parodies Taylor Swift's Bad Blood
is currently doing the the round in the US, poking fun at the country's own gay blood donation restrictions - check it out here
Cher's hilarious response to Donald Trump's presidential bid
'Magic Mike XXL' cast talk seeing each other naked on set