Wales to Expand Cell and Tissue Donor Eligibility for MSM

September 27, 2023

More gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) will soon be able to donate cells and tissue in Wales after the government announced plans to expand donor eligibility in the country.

The government action follows new recommendations from the FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualized Risk) steering group to remove questions related to MSM from risk assessments for living and deceased cell and tissue donations. The recommendations have also been endorsed by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, a group that advises ministers and health departments in the United Kingdom on the safety of blood, cells, tissues and organs for transfusion or transplantation.

In a Sept. 18 statement, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan instructed NHS Blood and Transplant, the Welsh Blood Service and other Welsh organizations involved with tissue and cell donation and transplant to prepare and make changes to the questions asked during tissue and cell process and to “move to a more individualized assessment of whether donors may be at risk of a blood-borne virus infection, regardless of their sex, gender or sexual orientation.”

Morgan did not specify a specific date that the new donor eligibility processes would take place but did state that she expects the changes to be introduced as soon as possible.

Additional information about blood, stem cell, tissue and organ by LGBTQ+ donors the U.K. is available online