Blood donation open to homosexuals, without sexual abstinence
It is a step in favor of equal rights to donate blood for homosexuals. The law project “Bioethics”, as adopted Thursday, June 10 at second reading by the National Assembly, sets the principle of the absence of “Difference in treatment” between donation candidates.
According to article 7a of text, resulting from an amendment tabled by the government, the “Blood donor selection criteria” must be asked “By order of the Minister responsible for health, taken after advice from the Director General of the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products”. They “Are regularly revised to take into account, in particular, changes in knowledge of security systems and health risks”.
2016: homosexuals allowed to donate blood …
A law of January 26, 2016 ended the total ban on homosexuals from donating blood, enacted in 1983, at the start of the AIDS epidemic: “ No one can be excluded from donating blood outside of medical contraindications. No one can be excluded from donating blood because of their sexual orientation ” (Article L. 1211-6-1 of the Public Health Code). A period of abstinence of 12 months before the blood sample had been imposed for men who had had homosexual relations.
Marisol Touraine, Minister of Health under François Hollande’s five-year term, was committed to a “Gradual reduction” of this period, in order to “Bring the rules which apply to them closer to the rules applicable to other donors”, ie 4 months of abstinence for heterosexual donors who have had several partners.
… but with an abstinence period of 4 months
A decree of December 17, 2019, which came into force on April 2, 2020, set new criteria for the selection of donors, by lowering the period of abstinence to 4 months for a man who has had homosexual intercourse.
It was supposed to be a prelude to “The eventual alignment of criteria for all donors, the disappearance of the reference to sexual orientation in favor of research into individual risky behavior”, announced Agnès Buzyn, who was then Minister of Solidarity and Health.
“Today, this period of abstinence is no longer justified, estimated with the Parisianthe socialist deputy Gérard Leseul, who had tabled a close amendment. This could be justified perhaps several decades ago, but the devices must evolve with the times. “
2022: the caution of defenders of equality
A clarification in the text nevertheless arouses the caution of defenders of equal rights: the criteria set “Cannot be based on any difference in treatment not justified by the need to protect the donor or the recipient”. Will these negations induce restrictions that break the principle of equality?
The Minister of Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, expressed on Twitter his wish to match “The criteria for selecting donors in the coming months”.
Donating blood will meet the same health security requirements, regardless of your sexuality. Parliament has just voted in principle. I will therefore align the donor selection criteria in the coming months. The culmination of a commitment made in 2013. – Olivier Véran (@olivierveran) June 8, 2021
From the magazine’s website Stubborn, the reform is due to enter into force on January 1, 2022.