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France: Government wants unrestricted blood donation by gays and bisexuals


Until now, sexually active gay and bisexual men in France had to fill out a questionnaire about their intimate partners before donating blood. Health Minister Véran speaks of the end of an "injustice".

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Blood donation (symbol image)

Photo: Piyanat Booncharoen / EyeEm / Getty Images

Gay associations have been criticizing the regulation in force in many countries for years as discriminatory, and France is now reacting: In future, sexually active gay and bisexual men will also be allowed to donate blood in the country.

"We are ending an injustice that could no longer be justified," wrote Health Minister Olivier Véran on Twitter on Tuesday.

Currently, men can only donate blood if they have not had same-sex sex in the past four months.

This regulation is to be lifted on March 16.

"All French people, regardless of their sexual orientation, can donate their blood," Véran continued.

According to the ministry, the questionnaire, which must be completed before the donation, should no longer contain any criteria or questions about men who have sex with men.

The questionnaire should be expanded to include questions about taking preventive medication before or after exposure to HIV risk.

A blood donation is excluded for four months after the last intake, according to the ministry.

As of 1983, men who had same-sex sex were banned from donating blood.

This was due to concerns about possible HIV infections in blood transfusions.

In 2016, France then allowed blood donations for sexual abstainers.

Germany shortened the last prescribed period of abstinence

In Germany, until last year, men with so-called “sexual risk behavior” had a prescribed sexual abstinence period of one year.

In September the period was shortened to four months.

Infections with the hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus or HIV could be safely ruled out after this period of time, according to the German Medical Association at the time.

The shortening had been criticized as "window dressing".

Politicians and associations had called for a complete abolition.

Since last October homosexuals have been allowed to donate blood in Israel without any restrictions.

There, too, relevant questions were deleted from a questionnaire.

"There is no difference between blood and blood," said Israel's Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz, commenting on the new regulation.

fek / dpa

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-01-11

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