In the UK, blood donors will be selected in the future regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Germany works differently.

In the UK, gay and bisexual men will no longer be treated differently when donating blood than other donors. The British Ministry of Health announced this on Monday. So far, men in the UK are not allowed to donate blood if they have had sex with another man in the previous three months.

This rule should no longer apply in the future. Instead, it should only matter whether a person has had alternate sexual partners or a committed relationship within three months, it said in the post – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Sexual practices come into the picture

In the selection of blood donors, more attention should be paid to risky sexual acts such as chemsex, a form of sexual intercourse between several people under the influence of drugs. The new regulation should apply from the summer of 2021. Health Minister Matt Hancock described the decision as a positive move that “judges individuals based on their actions, not their sexual orientation.”

In Germany, gay and bisexual men are only allowed to donate blood if they have not had sex with another man within a year. Germany’s Aidshilfe criticizes this scheme as discriminatory because it practically excludes most gay and bisexual men from blood donation.

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