Ban on gay blood donors discrimination: human rights group

Blood donatio (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vegasjon). (Blood donatio (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vegasjon))

According to the College for Human Rights, banning gay or bisexual men from donating blood is discrimination. 

In the Netherlands men who have or have had sexual contact with other men are permanently excluded as a blood donor. This is based on the strict selection policy of Stichting Sanquin, which is responsible for the blood supply in the country. According to Sanquin, this group has an increased risk of being infected with serious blood-borne infections such as HIV.

The human rights group did an investigation to determine whether permanently excluding gay and bisexual men as donors is still necessary for the safety of blood products.  According to the College, a recent study by the University of Maastricht and Sanquin clearly shows that the exclusion of these men is no longer necessary.

The College ruled that the Sanquin policy is no longer justified and that excluding these men is discrimination against gay and bisexual men. They feel that this is enough reason for Sanquin to adjust the donor selection policy.