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French minister wants to lift blanket ban on gay blood donations

French minister wants to lift blanket ban on gay blood donations

The French Minister of Health has announced changes to the rules for blood donors in a bid to allow homosexual people to donate blood.

Marisol Touraine said it was only a matter of weeks or months until the change would take effect when she spoke in the National Assembly on Sunday.

She said she supports the idea, but would wait for a recommendation from the health agencies before reaching her decision.

On 3 April members of the National Assembly passed an amendment to end the blanket ban on blood donations by gay men.

The proposition to allow gay men to give their blood is not part of a law, which means the final decision is down to the minister and does not have to pass through the French government.

Although Touraine is supportive of allowing gay men to donate blood, she said some conditions would need to apply

‘No-one should be banned from giving blood because he is gay,’ Touraine told the Assembly.

‘At the same time, we must ensure the absolute safety of those who receive blood.’

France banned gay men from donating blood in 1983, due to an increased risk of HIV infections amongst those receiving blood.