Israel reconsiders blood donations from gaysAround the World, Top Highlights Thursday, April 5th, 2012
JERUSALEM –An advisory committee on transfusion medicine from Israel’s Health Ministry will discuss next month whether to alter the clause that forbids the use of blood from homosexual men, after a similar clause was recently changed in Britain.
Reports indicate that the proposed change would allow any man who has had same-sex intercourse 10 or more years ago to donate blood that will be accepted by the blood bank, like any other donation.
Currently, anyone wishing to donate blood in Israel must fill out a comprehensive questionnaire, which lists disqualifications including having or being exposed to “mad cow disease”, various nerve disorders, drug use, a positive HIV test and a clause disqualifying gay men that says, “Having had male homosexual relations since 1977.”
Discussions about this clause have been going on for years. In 2004, it was proposed that the clause on the blood donation form would be rewritten to disqualify anyone who had had unprotected same-sex intercourse during the previous six months. Six months being the window of time during which HIV antibodies start showing up in someone who’s been infected with AIDS during a sexual encounter. However, nothing arose from this discussion, and the clause remained.
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