Gay men who have not had sex for 10 years will now be permitted to donate blood.
The law previously prevented all men who have had sex with men from donating blood because of the HIV risk. Although all donated blood is screened for infections, HIV can be missed because it does not show up immediately.
The blanket ban is being lifted because of fears that it is in breach of the Equality Act. The changes will be officially announced by public health minister Anne Milton in the next few weeks.