France lifts restrictions on gay blood donors
France will allow LGBT citizens to donate blood without “discriminatory” conditions, the country’s health ministry said.
From March 16, blood donation will be open to all French people regardless of their sexual orientation, said Health Minister Olivier Véran.
“We put an end to an inequality that was no longer justified”, Véran said on twitter.
Jérôme Salomon, director general of health in France, added that references to sexual orientation will be removed from blood donation forms.
“Anyone will arrive as an individual donor,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
LGBT + donors were theoretically able to donate blood since July 2016 if they said they had not been sexually active for a year. The time period was then reduced to four months in 2019, but will now be removed.
A ban on homosexual men from donating blood in France was initially put in place in 1983 because of the risk of transmission of HIV / AIDS.
But Salomon explained that the level of risk “has been steadily declining for decades” and that the ban on LGBT blood donors could be lifted.
French citizens will always be asked if they have received HIV treatment in the four months prior to donating blood, as well as questions relating to recent sexual activity or drug use.
A number of other European countries, including Spain, Italy and the UK, have already lifted bans on gay men from donating blood.