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Health minister removes blood donation restrictions for gay men

CM 19/08/2021

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Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz removed restrictions preventing gay men from donating blood on Thursday, saying he would remove the “degrading and irrelevant questions” from the blood donation form.
“Discrimination against gays in blood donations is over,” tweeted Horowitz. “When I entered office, I instructed [the ministry] to remove the degrading and irrelevant questions from the blood donation questionnaire. It was a remnant of a stereotype that belongs to history.”
“For years we have been trying to get rid of it and now we have finally succeeded. There is no difference between blood and blood,” added the health minister. “Another historic step for equality for LGBTQ+ people in Israel.”

Up until now, gay men could only donate blood if they hadn’t had sex with other men in the past year. After the change in policy, which is expected to take effect on October 1, the form will state that everyone, no matter their sexuality or gender, should wait three months before donating blood if they have had “high risk sexual relations” with a new partner or multiple partners.
In June, Ynet reported that Horowitz planned to remove all blood donation restrictions that prevent gay men from giving blood.
“We welcome this important and necessary step, and hope that it will mark the way to end discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and other populations in Israel,” said Alon Shachar, executive director of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. ” Equality before the law is a supreme value. [Health] Minister [Nitzan] Horowitz is showing courage and we are all standing behind him. We will continue to work to end discrimination in the health care system and other public systems.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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