Homosexual men should no longer be excluded from donating blood across the board. With the votes of the traffic light coalition, the Bundestag decided on Thursday to amend the transfusion law accordingly. It is now expressly stated there that sexual orientation must not be taken into account when deciding on a possible exclusion.
So far, a directive of the German Medical Association provides that men who have sex with men are deferred for four months after sexual contact with a new or more than one sexual partner. This is to reduce the risk of passing on a possible HIV infection.
The traffic light parties had already agreed in their coalition agreement to end this practice. "There is no scientific reason for this discrimination," said SPD MP Heike Engelhardt. "It's a shame that people in 2023 are still struggling with such disadvantages and prejudices." Because of the "individual sexual behavior of the person willing to donate", it is still possible to defer donors as part of the risk assessment.
With the change in the law, the previous maximum age limits for donating blood will also be abolished. Until now, first-time donors - depending on the region - were only allowed to be around 65 years old. For repeat donors, the upper limit was mostly between 70 and 75 years. In the future, a doctor will instead assess the individual's suitability to donate.