Brazil's gay and bisexual blood ban abolished

The Supreme Court's decision which sees the blood ban abolished has been hailed as a victory by Brazil's LGBT+ community.

blood ban abolished
Image: FCB

The Supreme Court in Brazil has overturned the 12 month deferral period on gay and bisexual men donating blood, the Guardian reports. Seven of eleven justices at the Supreme Federal Court in Brasília voted on Friday, May 8, in favour of the blood ban being abolished, a vote which is being celebrated by LGBT+ campaigners in Brazil.

The court said that the rules were unconstitutional as it imposed restrictions based on sexual orientation.

“Instead of the state enabling these people to promote good by donating blood, it unduly restricts solidarity based on prejudice and discrimination,” supreme court minister Edson Fachin wrote in his vote.

The ruling is a result of a legal battle that was brought to the Supreme Court four years ago.

While the United States, Denmark, and Northern Ireland have all recently changed their rules to reduce the deferral period, Brazil and Hungary have completely removed any wait time on blood donation.

The news comes amid ongoing discrimination against LGBT+ people in both Hungary and Brazil.

The one year abstinence period for blood donations by gay and bisexual men in Northern Ireland will be reduced to three months on June 1.

In the Republic, sexual health advocates continue to work with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service on reviewing te one-year abstinence rule.

Newly released data from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has revealed GBT+ people were rejected from donating blood 70 times within the span of two years.

Last week, the USI renewed calls for the blood ban to be abolished in the Republic of Ireland.

USI Vice-President for the Southern Region, Darren Malone said:

“The lifetime ban on gay men donating blood to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) was lifted in January 2017 and replaced with a 12-month abstinence deferral period which means that a man who last had sex with another man more than 12 months ago is now able to donate blood if he meets the other blood donor selection criteria.

“The IBTS has set strict guidelines for those who are eligible to donate to ensure that all donations are safe to use and to protect donors and recipients. And so, eligibility decided on sexuality is extremely discriminatory and no one should be denied the right to donate blood based on their sexuality.”

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