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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Germany abolishes discrimination against gay blood donors

Homosexual men can now donate blood on an equal basis with heterosexuals. The Bundestag has approved an amendment to the blood transfusion law: “Sexual orientation and gender identity must not be criteria for exclusion or deferment.” Donor eligibility is now based on “individual sexual behavior” rather than sexual orientation, which previously determined criteria for exclusion or deferment.

According to Lauterbach, “the federal order of doctors must finally understand what has long been a consensus in public life”. According to Aidshilfe, donated blood is indeed tested for HIV and other infections before use. In addition, potential donors are also asked about their “infection-related behavior”. However, men who have sex with men have so far been excluded “too radically”.

To date, German Medical Association guidelines require men who have male sex partners to postpone sex with a new or multiple sex partners for four months. This is done to reduce the risk of transmitting a possible HIV infection.

The traffic light coalition has already agreed in its agreement to end this practice. “There is no scientific basis for this kind of discrimination,” said SPD MP Heike Engelhardt. “It is very unfortunate that in 2023 people will still have to deal with such discrimination and prejudice.” However, due to the “individual sexual behavior of the person wishing to donate blood”, a delay for donors within the framework of the risk assessment remains possible.

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