The Ministry of Health has reversed a 14-year-old ban on blood donation by homosexuals by allowing lesbian women to legally donate. The ban on men who have sex with men remains.
Via Global Times:
The Whole Blood and Component Donor Selection Requirements, released by the Ministry of Health last year, amended the provision which had forbidden homosexuals from giving blood. The previous requirements dated from 1998. It now does not mention homosexual identity, only stating that men who are sexually active with other men are still barred from donating.
An anonymous staff member from Beijing Red Cross Blood Center confirmed Monday that the center and the city’s mobile blood centers had received the notice.
“According to the new policy, mobile blood centers should have started accepting lesbian donors from Sunday,” she said.
The director of Common Language, an NGO dedicated to supporting lesbians and bisexuals, nicknamed Xian, said that she applauded the amendment and is planning to coordinate members of the NGO to donate blood.
Xian did not know lesbians were barred from giving blood until after the earthquake in Sichuan Province in 2008, when she was told she could not donate blood.
“It’s scientific that the policy doesn’t mention homosexual identity but only fences off some who have certain sex behaviors, because AIDS is not caused by one’s homosexual identity but improper sexual behavior,” said Xian.
She added that in the past, although a lesbian was able to donate by concealing her homosexual identity, the new policy is still meaningful for them.
“It is also about our dignity and the elimination of blood donation discrimination,” she said.