France has eased restrictions in its ban on gay blood donation, lowering the period in which men who have sex with men must abstain from sex before being allowed to donate from one year to four months.
France24 reports: ‘The health ministry, which will implement the changes on February 1, 2020, said the decision to relax the abstinence period was based on the latest scientific evidence and medical advances. It said the change marked a “first step” in plans to bring donor conditions for gay men in line with those for heterosexuals by 2022, pending a “transparent” evaluation of the potential risks involved. The announcement comes a month after gay rights groups filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging discrimination by France, pointing out that the 12-month abstinence rule “effectively excludes 93.8% of gay men from donating blood”.’
In the United States, the FDA still defers any male donor who has had sex with another man in the past year.