Saturday 28 November 2020

Blood bank wants change in rules to allow gay men to donate plasma

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Blood bank operator Sanquin has called for the rules on plasma donation to be changed to allow gay men to become donors.

Demand for plasma has increased recently, partly because of the coronavirus outbreak. Sanquin said gay men should be able to donate plasma provided they have not had sex with a man in the last four months, because of the increased risk of blood-transmitted diseases.

The proposal would bring the rules for plasma into line with those for blood donations. ‘Viruses can be removed from plasma more easily thanks to various new innovations,’ Sanquin spokeswoman Marloes Metaal told NOS Radio 1.

Gay rights organisation COC was critical of the move, arguing that gay men should not be discriminated against if they were in steady relationships.

‘In practice it means homosexual and bisexual men still won’t be allowed to donate plasma if they have sex more than once every four months, and I want everyone to be able to have sex more than once in four months,’ said chair Astrid Oosenbrug.

‘It’s time for a donation policy that revolves around the question of whether you have safe sex rather than who you have sex with.’

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