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France removes restrictions on gay, bisexual blood donors

France will allow LGBTQIA citizens – particularly gay and bisexual men – to donate blood without “discriminatory” conditions starting March 16.

Photo by Dwain Norsa from Unsplash.com

France will allow LGBTQIA citizens – particularly gay and bisexual men – to donate blood without “discriminatory” conditions starting March 16. This was announced by the country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, who stated that the country is “putting an end to an inequality that was no longer justified.”

With this, references to sexual orientation will be removed from blood donor forms; and so any person will arrive as an individual donor.

In July 2016, the country actually loosened its anti-LGBTQIA policy, allowing LGBTQIA blood donors to donate blood as long as they had not been sexually active for one year. The time period was later reduced to four months in 2019.

As in many countries, the ban particularly on gay and bisexual men giving blood in France was initially put in place in 1983 due to the risk of the transmission of HIV.

With the change in policy, nonetheless, French citizens will still be asked if they have had treatment for HIV in the four months before giving blood. They will similarly be asked about their recent sexual activity or drug use.

Other European countries, including Spain, Italy, and the UK, already lifted bans on gay and bisexual men donating blood.

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