In the UK, blood donors will be selected regardless of gender or sexual orientation in the future. Germany works differently.
In the UK, gay and bisexual men will no longer be treated differently when donating blood than other donors. The British Ministry of Health announced on Monday. So far, men in the UK are not allowed to donate blood if they have had sex with another man within the three months before.
This rule should no longer apply in the future. Instead, it should only be decisive whether a person has had changing sexual partners or a steady relationship within three months, it said in the message – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Sexual practices come into focus
When selecting blood donors, there should instead be a stronger focus than before on risky sexual practices such as chemsex, a form of sexual intercourse between several people under the influence of drugs. The new regulation should apply from summer 2021. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the decision as a positive move that “evaluates individuals based on their actions, not their sexual orientation.”
In Germany, gay and bisexual men are only allowed to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man within a year. The German Aidshilfe criticizes this regulation as discriminatory because it practically excludes most homosexual and bisexual men from donating blood.