May 1, 2013 | by Staff reports
Chile drops blood donation ban for gays
blood donation, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo public domain)

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s Health Ministry has lifted a ban on gay and lesbian blood donations as of last week, the Santiago Times reported.

The change was made after a year of lobbying by Movilh, an LGBT activist group in the country.

Before April 24, potential blood donors would be asked their sexual orientation as a part of a questionnaire that would decide whether or not their blood was viable. Anyone identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual was prohibited from donating blood.

The current language in the questionnaire now only restricts donors with a history of risky sexual behavior, regardless of the sexual orientation of the participant, the Times reported.

Risky sexual conduct is defined by the Health Ministry as sex with more than one partner in the previous 12 months, the article said.

Blood donation criteria has remained a controversial issue in many countries including the U.S. with some arguing disproportionate HIV rates in men who have sex with men and the lag time before an infected person tests positive could be dangerous.

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