German doctors are calling for the end of a ban on gay men donating blood.
The German Medical Association has said it would aim to do everything ‘within its means’ to remove the ban.
A Europe-wide ban prevents all men who regularly have sex with men to donate blood.
While countries like the UK and Sweden allow gay and bisexual men to donate if they have not had sex in a year, other European countries like Germany rule them out indefinitely.
This is because MSM are deemed to fall into the ‘high risk’ category of potential HIV risk.
The German Medical Association argue there is no reason why gay and bisexual men should not be able to donate.
Allowing singles who have not had sex for a year, or couples who have been in a monogamous relationship for at least five years, could potentially boost the much-needed blood banks they say.
Health minister Daniel Bahr welcomed the ideas, saying more people are needed to give blood in Germany.
‘If better medical criteria is found, then that is progress,’ he told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, as reported by The Local.
Worldwide, the idea of men who have sex with men donating blood has caused a great deal of controversy.
Those in favor of keeping the ban claim gay and bisexual men are more likely to get HIV, hepatitis and syphilis.
Many LGBT organizations view the restrictions on donation as based on homophobia and not on medical science, stereotyping gay and bisexual men as engaging in ‘risky sexual behavior’.