Gay men can donate blood, with a year wait after sex

Blood donationGay men in the Netherlands are to be allowed to donate blood, as long as it is at least a year since they had sex with a man.

Men who have had sex with men are currently barred from donating blood.

Announcing the change on Wednesday, health minister Edith Schippers said she is looking into reducing the 12-month waiting period.

‘I am both a supporter of emancipation and equal treatment and responsible for the provision of a safe blood supply in the Netherlands,’ Schippers told parliament in a briefing. ‘The 12-month period ends the permanent ban without threatening the safety of blood products.’

Gay rights lobby group COC described the change as symbolic. The new policy is only in the interests of bisexual men in a long-term relationship with a woman, spokeswoman Tanja Ineke said.

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