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Blood donation: Karl Lauterbach wants to end discrimination against homosexual donors


So far, homosexuals are only allowed to donate blood with restrictions. Health Minister Lauterbach now wants to abolish this requirement. It has long been criticized as discriminatory.

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Blood donation: The guideline for homosexuals was recently relaxed in 2021

Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd / dpa

Men who have sex with men are treated unfavorably as blood donors.

This criticism has been around for a long time.

Now the government is putting a change on the agenda.

»Whether someone can become a blood donor is a question of risky behavior, not of sexual orientation.«

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to end discrimination against homosexual men when donating blood.

With the planned change in the law, Lauterbach wants to oblige the German Medical Association to adjust its blood donation guidelines accordingly within four months and to allow homosexual men as blood donors, the minister announced in the editorial network Germany (Tuesday editions).

"Whether someone can become a blood donor is a question of risky behavior, not of sexual orientation," Lauterbach told the newspapers.

“There must be no hidden discrimination on this subject either.” The German Medical Association must “finally understand what has long been a consensus in social life”.

Default comes from the AIDS crisis

The blood donation restrictions for homosexuals date back to the time of the AIDS crisis.

The reason for this was the concern that gay men are particularly at risk of passing on the HI virus through donating blood.

The measure has long been criticized as discriminatory, the traffic light parties had agreed in their coalition agreement to abolish it.

Lauterbach's amendment to the transfusion law, which is available to the RND newspapers, now says: "Sexual orientation and gender identity must not be exclusion or deferral criteria."

According to the currently applicable guideline of the German Medical Association, men who have sex with men may only donate blood if they have not had sexual intercourse with "one new or more than one sexual partner" in the past four months.

For all other people, the four-month ban only applies to “frequently changing partners”.

The guideline was last relaxed slightly in 2021 – before that, the deadline was twelve months.

According to the draft amendment, the RND now stipulates that the sexual risk that leads to an exclusion or a deferral from the donation may only be determined on "the basis of the individual behavior of the person willing to donate".

»In this respect, group-related exclusions or provisions are no longer permissible.«


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-10

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