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Argentina one step closer to allowing gay blood donors

Congress has passed a bill that could ban clinics from asking blood donors their sexual orientation

Argentina one step closer to allowing gay blood donors

Gays and lesbians in Argentina could be one step closer to donating blood.

The Chamber of Deputies passed on 29 November (Thursday) a bill that would modify the nation’s blood donating laws.

The measure, to be debated by the Senate in 2013, would remove certain questions from forms used by clinics and hospitals that require potential blood donors to divulge their sexual orientation.

One of the questions asks the potential donor if they’ve had sexual relations with someone of the same sex in the past year. If the answer is affirmative, the donor is not permitted to continue with the donating process.

Opponents of the bill insist that the question is in place to protect against contamination from ‘high risk’ groups, specifically groups most affected by HIV/AIDS.

LGBT rights groups in Argentina including the Argentina LGBT Federation (FALGBT) and the Community of Homosexuals in Argentina (CHA), argue the questions pose an invasion of privacy and are discriminatory against gays and lesbians.

Esteban Paulón, president of FALGBT, said: ‘It seems unreal that despite achieving marriage equality and passing a gender identity law, discriminatory practices continue to persist’.

‘Today the national Congress moved one step closer to eliminating the blood donating ban we have to endure, a ban based on prejudice and erroneous information’.

Originally introduced in 2008 by the FALGBT, the bill  has been debated by Congress since July 2012.

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