Austria scraps ban on accepting blood from LGBTQ donors
Austria on Friday lifted a de facto ban on gay, bisexual and transgender people donating blood, “putting an end to discrimination from another age”, the health ministry announced.
ustria on Friday lifted a de facto ban on gay, bisexual and transgender people donating blood, “putting an end to discrimination from another age”, the health ministry announced.
Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Britain and the United States have in the last year or more also changed or eased their rules for blood donations, along similar lines.
“If someone wants to help by making a donation, there is no reason why they should be prevented from doing so because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Health Minister Johannes Rauch was quoted as saying in a statement.
The rule change, adopted on Friday, will come into force “this summer”, a government spokesman told AFP.
The EU nation’s legislation has previously prohibited anyone who has had “risky sex” in the previous 12 months from giving blood.
Some organisations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, have used this legal framework to exclude gays, bisexuals and transgender people, citing a risk of AIDS transmission, according to LGBTQ+ organisations.
Early this month, such organisations called for a more inclusive system, based on improvements in scientific data in recent years, arguing that these exclusions had become arbitrary and constituted discrimination.
The new amendment, made by the Green-Conservative coalition, excludes “any donor who has had more than three partners in the three months preceding the donation” as well as their partners, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.