Blood donation could also be reformed in the USA

The question "Why shouldn't gay men be allowed to donate blood just like everyone else?" has become a concern for many people. This is also an important topic in the USA. At present, the signs are good that things will change in this area in the future. At least, if some government officials have their way.

It was not too long ago that the blood of a gay man was generally not accepted when donating blood. Now, however, more and more voices are being raised demanding that things have to change here.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is behind the new impetus. It proposes that, in general, blood donations should no longer ask about a person's sexual orientation, but instead focus exclusively on their risk behavior.

Blood donations in the USA

Of course, safety should not suffer

There is no question that strict guidelines still have to be observed when donating blood. Nevertheless, for many people there has long been no reason to treat homosexual or bisexual persons differently from heterosexual donors.

In this context, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has undertaken to continue collecting important data so as not to take any unnecessary risks. Those responsible are currently working on a working paper that deals with the relevant guidelines. This is to be published in the coming months.

Toward greater equality in blood donation in the U.S.

In recent years, a lot has changed for gay and bisexual blood donors in the USA. Until 2015, they were generally prohibited from donating blood. As of 2015, they were allowed to donate blood - but with the stipulation that they must not have had (same-sex) sex for a period of one year.

A special milestone followed in 2020, when the prescribed period was reduced to three months. How the requirements are now to be adjusted again and what the FDA's new proposal will look like in detail remains to be seen.

According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, men who are in a monogamous relationship would then henceforth be treated like heterosexual blood donors. In addition, both men and women who have only been with a new partner for three months or less would be asked whether they have had anal sex during that time. If the question is answered with "yes", blood donation would then not be possible - neither for homosexuals nor for heterosexuals. This is because anal sex is still considered one of the main sources of risk with regard to the HI virus - even if more and more voices are being raised that emphasize that men who live in a monogamous relationship should be treated differently here.

Things are happening - Many are happy about it

In the meantime, a number of queer organizations have also spoken out, welcoming the FDA's action. At the same time, many of those responsible emphasize that they will of course continue to work to ensure that discrimination does not stand a chance in this area either. After all, entire groups of people would be stigmatized on the basis of the old guidelines.

Instead, it would make more sense to take into account the individual risk behavior of donors, as is already increasingly demanded in some countries.

Blood donations in the USA

Homo- and bisexual blood donors: What is the situation in Germany?

In Germany, homosexual and bisexual men currently have to adhere to a shortened waiting period of four months, unless they have been living in a monogamous relationship for a long time. In this case, the aforementioned waiting period does not apply.

In the future, however, discrimination is to be abolished here as well - at least if the traffic light coalition has its way. As mentioned above, it will no longer be sexual orientation that is assessed, but personal risk behavior.


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