January 26, 2022

Blood donation will be open to homosexuals from mid-March without a period of abstinence, announces the Ministry of Health

Since July 2016, homosexuals can theoretically donate blood, but this possibility remained subject to a period of sexual abstinence of four months, which had to be declared during the preliminary interview.

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It was a long-standing demand of LGBT associations. Blood donation will be open to homosexuals without conditions from the 16th March, Jérôme Salomon, director general of health, announced Tuesday, January 11, during a press briefing. There will be “no more reference to sexual orientation” in the questionnaires prior to donating blood, and “tnobody will arrive as an individual donor “, he clarified. This decision is part ofns the extension of the law of bioethics and of a “political will” by Olivier Véran. An order will be signed on Tuesday, the health ministry announced.

Since July 2016, homosexuals have theoretically been able to donate blood, an act that had been prohibited for them since 1983 due to an increased risk of HIV transmission. But this possibility remained until now subject to a period of sexual abstinence (first set at one year, before being reduced in 2019 to four months) which had to be declared during the preliminary interview.

“The extreme vigilance of the health authorities allows an evolution of the conditions of access to blood donation”, explained the director general of health, who does not expect an increase in the residual risk of transmission of HIV by transfusion as a result of this measure. “This level of risk has been falling steadily for decades”, he recalled.

A new criterion will be added to the questionnaire preceding the blood donation: the donor must declare whether he is taking treatment for pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis to HIV (PrEP), in which case the donation will be postponed for four months after the last medication.

A certain number of questions will also aim to detect possible individual risk behaviors (sexuality with several partners, under drugs…), but sexual orientation will no longer be mentioned. “These are questions donors are already used to”, said Jérôme Salomon.