Northern Ireland

Health Minister Poots stands by ban on gay blood donors

Edwin Poots
Health Minister Edwin Poots said those engaged in high-risk sex should be excluded from donating blood

Health Minister Edwin Poots has said he is standing by his decision to maintain a ban on gay people donating blood.

Mr Poots said he had received two new pieces of research this week which have strengthened his position.

Speaking on the Sunday Politics programme he said he did not want the ban to apply to gay people only.

"I think that people who engage in high risk sexual behaviour in general should be excluded from giving blood," the minister said.

"And so someone who has sex with somebody in Africa or sex with prostitutes, I am very reluctant about those people being able to give blood."

The full interview with Mr Poots will be broadcast on Sunday politics at 12:00 BST on Sunday.