The Ministry of Health announces that blood donation is accessible to all on the basis of the same criteria.
Blood donation will be open to homosexuals in mid-March, without conditions, the government deciding to abandon any reference in the donation criteria to sexual orientation to put an end to a “discrimination“, announced Tuesday, January 11 the Ministry of Health.
In line with the bioethics law and a “political willby the Minister of Health, a decree will be signed on Tuesday which will make blood donation accessible to all on the basis of the same criteria, for homosexuals as for heterosexuals. From March 16, there will be nono more reference to sexual orientation“, in the questionnaires prior to blood donation, explained Jérôme Salomon, Director General of Health, during a press briefing. “Every person will arrive as a donor individual.“
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“A change in the conditions of access to blood donation”
Since July 2016, homosexual men can theoretically donate blood, a gesture which has been prohibited to them since 1983 due to the risk of transmission of AIDS. But this possibility remained subject until now to a period of sexual abstinence (initially fixed at one year, before being reduced in 2019 to four months) which had to be declared during the preliminary interview.
“The extreme vigilance of the health authorities allows an evolution of the conditions of access to blood donation“Explained the Director General of Health, who does not expect an increase in the residual risk of HIV transmission by transfusion as a result of this measure. “This level of risk has been falling steadily for decades“, he recalled. A new criterion will be added to the questionnaire preceding the blood donation: the donor must declare whether he is taking treatment for pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis to HIV, in which case the donation will be postponed four months later.
A certain number of questions will also aim to detect possible individual risky behavior (sex with several partners, taking drugs, etc.), but sexual orientation will no longer be mentioned. “These are questions donors are already used to“, said Professor Salomon. Before France, many countries, such as Spain, Italy, Israel and recently England, have already changed their conditions of access to blood donation in this direction.