Lesbians can give blood in China, while gay men there and in countries all over the world remain banned
Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images
There will be blood. Donated from lesbians in China, but not from gay men there, or from many developed countris across the world for that matter.
The Chinese Ministry of Health recently lifted a 14-year ban on lesbians donating blood, but the ban still applies to men who have sex with men, CNN reports.
The Chinese amendment reflects on the government’s progress in its attitude toward AIDS, with expansion of HIV prevention and treatment programs. Though the lesbian ban is—was—rare, the current ban on homosexual men giving blood unless they are celibate is not.
In the United States, the FDA prohibits any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from giving blood because of their higher risk of HIV and other infections, even if he is regularly tested for and deemed not to have those infections. The rule was reviewed and upheld in 2010, whereas England and Wales banned their version of it in September. Repeated calls to change the American policy have been ignored and rejected, even as blood testing has become easier and better.
The FDA insists there is no discrimination and that the policy protects the public, but imposes only a one-year waiting period on men who have had sex with a prostitute or a woman known to be infected with HIV, according to USA Today. Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan, Sweden, England, and Wales are among countries that follow a similar one-year deferral rule, but for men who have had sex with other men.