Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open Vld) was given the go-ahead by the government to draft a bill to change the conditions for donating blood. This will end the lifetime exclusion of men who have sex with men and will now also be allowed to donate their blood in a secure environment.
“Our priority in blood donation is the safety of patients who need blood transfusion, and it is sexually risky behavior that is important. Sexual orientation does not matter”, commented the minister.
The bill provides for a temporary exclusion for each behavior of the donor or his sexual partner that implies a risk of contracting an infectious disease. Sexual intercourse with another man, in exchange for money, or with a partner who has used drugs intravenously or intramuscularly, is considered, for example, to be risky behavior. The exclusion period will be 12 months.