The Netherlands has ended a lifetime
ban on blood donations from gay men, but sexually active gay men
Under the new policy, gay men may
donate blood if they have not had sex with another man in the last 12
months. Previously, gay men were permanently banned from donating.
Minister of Health Edith Schippers
announced the change in policy.
“I am a staunch supporter of
emancipation and equality of people, and at the same time responsible
for the safe blood supply in the Netherlands,” she
said in a statement.
LGBT rights advocate Tanja Ineke called
the change “very disappointing.”
“The policy is only of practical
importance for bisexual men in long-term monogamous relationships
with a woman,” Ineke said in an interview with broadcaster AT5.
“[T]he new policy will remain
unnecessarily discriminatory,” she added. “This proposal
provides too little, too late.”
In the United States, the FDA prohibits
men who have sex with men from donating blood unless they have been
celibate for one year.