Tags: blood | donor | ban | gays | bisexuals

France's Gay Blood Donor Ban 'May Be Justified': EU Court

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 03:47 PM



The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a ruling saying France's ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood may be justified if techniques to detect the HIV virus are inadequate. Individual countries, the ECJ said, must decide if donors are at risk of getting HIV and thus passing the virus to others through blood transfusions.

Bans against gays and bisexual men donating blood were put in place in the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

A French court is now set to decide if a total ban is appropriate. France has the highest HIV rate in Europe among sexually active gay men, and the court must decide whether or not gay men pose a risk of transmitting HIV to recipients of donated blood.

The ECJ said that before continuing the ban, other options should be considered to protect against HIV and other diseases that are "less onerous."

Last December, the United States Food and Drug Administration eased a decade ban on gays and bisexual men donating blood. The FDA decided that gay and bisexual men who hadn't had sex with other men in the previous twelve months would be eligible to donate blood.

England, Scotland, and Wales lifted their ban in 2011 to allow men who had not had sex with other men in 12 months to donate, while Northern Ireland chose to keep their ban. Germany is currently evaluating its guidelines which prohibit donors who have a "significantly increased risk of transmission."

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The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a ruling saying France's ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood may be justified if techniques to detect the HIV virus are inadequate. Individual countries, the ECJ said, must decide if donors are at risk of getting HIV and...
blood, donor, ban, gays, bisexuals
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2015-47-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 03:47 PM
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