The Fiji government has confirmed gay men are banned from donating blood in the country.
The policy was confirmed in the Fiji Village after it questioned why a gay man was not able to donate blood during a recent drive.
The Health Ministry said homosexuals were seen as high risk donors.
The Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission said it would investigate the Health Ministry’s policy. that homosexuals cannot donate blood to the National Blood Service even if they have only one partner and practice safe sex.
Its director, Ashwin Raj said the policy is unconstitutional.
The man in his 20s was prevented from donating his blood and was rejected in front of other donors.
He said he was embarrassed when he was told the only reason he could not give blood was because of his sexuality.
The National Blood Service official allegedly just assessed that the man is homosexual.
The man says that he was embarrassed because he was branded as a homosexual with the assumption that he has several partners although he only has one partner.
‘Self-exclude’ yourself if you don’t want to answer tough questions
The Health Ministry told Fiji Village it follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on blood transfusion recommend that donations of blood should not be accepted from people in a number of categories.
The Health Ministry said to reduce the risk of spreading HIV through blood transfusions, the WHO guidelines also advise against accepting blood donations from people who engage in high‑risk sexual behaviour. Those behaviours include having multiple sex partners, receive or pay money or drugs for sex, including sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men and women who have sex with men who have sex with men.
The ministry also suggested if people did not want to be on the end of intrusive questioning they could ‘self-exclude’ themselves from donating blood.
The man who tried to donate blood said he only had one sexual partner and was branded gay by the blood service.