Israel eases restrictions on blood donations by gay men

Israel’s health minister says he has lifted restrictions on blood donations by gay men, saying the longstanding query posed to prospective donors were discriminatory and denigrating

Earlier this year the U.K. eased restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, following a similar decision by the U.S. last year because of a drop in the nation’s blood supply.

Until Thursday, men seeking to donate blood in Israel were asked whether they had same-sex relations in the past 12 months, a category that would disqualify them from giving. Now the questionnaire inquires whether a prospective donor has had “high risk sexual relations with a new partner or partners” in the past three months, using gender neutral wording.

“There’s no difference between one blood and the other,” he said. “Discrimination against gays in donating blood is over.”

“Now there are safe blood doses for all without discrimination or harming human rights. Because discrimination also causes serious damage to health," he said.

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