Gay and bisexual men in France couldn’t donate blood for medical purposes for the last three decades – due to fear that HIV virus might be transmitted through blood donations. Fortunately, the last such case happened 13 years ago, and there has been a strong expert opinion that blood donation ban, brought back in 1983 when HIV virus was first discovered, should be lifted.
Lucky for everyone involved, the second week of July will see the ban indeed being lifted after three decades – French president Hollande will sign the law that will come into effect. The French health minister declared in November last year that “no blood donors can be refused based on their sexual orientation“. While the complete ban is indeed lifted, the law still states that gay and bisexual men must be celibate for at least a year before making a blood donation.
It is estimated that more than 35,000 blood donations will be given after the ban is lifted, which could save numerous lives and make doctors’ work much easier.