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IBTS review of MSM blood donations due by summer 2016

“The review is due to be finished by mid next year,” an IBTS spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar was questioned about the review in the Dáil last week. He did not give an exact date for when the review is expected to be finalised.

“In response to a request from the Chief Medical Officer of my Department, the IBTS submitted a paper earlier this year setting out options for future policy in relation to MSM as blood donors,” Minister Varadkar told the Dáil last week. “The IBTS was subsequently asked to build on this report, including through appropriate engagement with relevant organisations.

“As part of this process, the IBTS has engaged professional statistical consultants to develop a model on how to quantify changes in risks to patients from window period HIV transmission, or from the transmission of other emerging infections, in the event of changes in MSM deferral policies.

“This work, which includes detailed analysis of international evidence, with the aim of finalising a specific recommendation, is ongoing. I have asked that this analysis be completed and a report submitted as soon as possible.

“The IBTS has informed my Department that a change in the MSM deferral policy is not likely to have a significant impact on the number of donations.”

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