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Homosexual blood ban to be lifted

Health minister says risk from infected blood is not from sexual inclination but "multiplicity of partners"

THE BAN on homosexual men giving blood in France is to be lifted, Health Minister Marisol Touraine has said.

Speaking on World Blood Donor Day yesterday she said the criteria for assessing risk from infected blood did not depend on the "nature of sexual relations or sexual inclination" but on the "multiplicity of partners".

She said she would put forward proposals for the change to allow homosexuals to give blood in the coming months.

Previous governments had maintained the ban on homosexual donations as the male gay community was seen as having a greater prevalence of Aids.

However, both Xavier Bertrand and Roselyne Bachelot in the previous Sarkozy government had promised to change the law, without actually doing it.

In 2011 the French blood donation service EFS took 3,190,000 donations of blood from 1.7 million donors, the majority of them women.

In the UK, the ban was lifted in November 2011 in England, Scotland and Wales for homosexual and bisexual men who had not had sex with another man in the previous 12 months.
Photo: Richard Villalon - Fotolia.com

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