Blood transfusion law: Bundestag lifts ban on blood donation for homosexuals

HOURHomosexual men can no longer be excluded from blood donation across the board. On Thursday, the Bundestag decided to amend the law on blood transfusion with the votes of a coalition of traffic lights. It now explicitly states that sexual orientation should not be taken into account when deciding on a possible exclusion.

For now, German Medical Association guidelines stipulate that men who have sex with men are delayed for four months after having sex with a new or more than one sexual partner. This is done to reduce the risk of transmission of possible HIV infection.

The traffic light parties have already agreed in their coalition agreement to end this practice. “There is no scientific basis for such discrimination,” said SPD MP Heike Engelhardt. “It’s a pity that people in 2023 still have to deal with such shortcomings and prejudices.” Due to the “individual sexual behavior of a person willing to become a donor”, it is still possible to delay donors as part of a risk assessment.

With the change in the law, the previous maximum age limits for donating blood are also cancelled. So far, donors who have applied for the first time – depending on the region – were only allowed to be around the age of 65. For repeat donors, the upper limit was generally between 70 and 75 years. In the future, a doctor will instead evaluate a person’s suitability for donation.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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