September 07, 2022
Health officials in Malta, an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, have revised the country’s one-year blood deferral period for men who have sex with men, the Times of Malta reported this week. An announcement of the policy change by Maltese Health Minister Chris Fearne coincided with the beginning of Malta Pride on Sept. 2.
According to reporting by the Times, following the Sept. 2 update, anyone who wants to donate blood, irrespective of their sexual orientation, will be able to do so as long as they have had just one sexual partner for at least four months and meet all other eligibility criteria.
Prior to 2019, MSM in Malta were indefinitely deferred from blood donation, but health officials reduced this period to one year after the introduction of nucleic acid testing in the country.