Colombia Courts say clinics can’t stop gays donating blood

The Constitutional Court of Colombia rules that clinics can't block someone from donating blood based on their sexual orientation

Colombia Courts say clinics can’t stop gays donating blood
06 June 2012

The Colombian constitutional court has ruled in favor of allowing gays to donate blood.

The court’s ruling stems from a 2011 case when Higuera Escalante testing laboratory in Bucaramanga refused to accept a man’s blood donation, after he stated his gay sexual orientation on the routine donation forms.

Some of the clinic’s nurses reportedly refused the donor’s blood arguing that the government prohibited receiving blood donations from homosexuals.

The Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled that Higuera Escalante’s medical personnel will make future decisions based on a donor’s sexual behavior, not their sexual orientation.

A court representative told Univision news: ‘The risk of contamination depends on the donor’s behavior, not on the donor’s sexual preference.

‘A straight person who has unprotected sexual relations with several partners is at greater risk of contracting HIV than a gay man who is partnered and uses protection.’

Attorney Germán Humberto Rincón-Perfetti, the ex-director of the legal affairs and human rights department of the Colombian Fight-Against-AIDS League stated: ‘This is a long-awaited and necessary decision to confront our being rejected at laboratories when we go in to donate blood.

‘To consider homosexuality in and of itself as a reason to deny a donation is to continue with the historical exclusion based more on fear than on reality.’

The Colombian Ministry of Health is also set to review the rules and regulations of blood donation with the purpose of eliminating sexual orientation as a criteria for qualifying the risk of infectious diseases such as HIV. 

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