The gay, transgender community has approached the Supreme Court to lift the ban on their blood donation. The central government has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, justifying the exclusion of the gay and transgender community from donating blood to other people. The Center said that there is scientific evidence that such people are at higher risk of HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C.
Blood donation by gay people was banned in the year 1980 itself. was installed. This was the period when there were not many tools to detect diseases like HIV/AIDS as compared to today. Explain that this ban applies to all sexually active gay men, bisexual men, and transgender women.
Let us try to understand that what is the law regarding blood donation of gay community in India, is there a similar law in other countries of the world. Has blood donation been banned in all the countries of the world to gay men or women.
According to clause 12 for blood donation in India, guidelines have been given for the blood donor. According to this, any blood donor must be free from communicable diseases. Transgender, homosexual women and men, female sex workers have been mentioned in this clause. According to this law, such people have been excluded from the list of blood donors, in whom the risk of HIV AIDS is high.
In this clause, homosexuals and transgenders have also been mentioned. A guideline was issued in 2017 by the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) and the National AIDS Control Organization. According to this, the services of blood donation must be ‘completely safe’.
Thangjam Singh, a member of the transgender community, challenged this clause in the Supreme Court. He said that this section violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Thangjam Singh had approached the court saying that it is completely arbitrary to not allow someone to donate blood keeping in mind their gender and sexual interest.
In countries around the world What are the laws regarding gay blood donation
AIDS in the United States in the 1970s and 80s There was a lot of devastation. At the same time, blood donation by gay and transgender men was banned. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told that any male in the country (America) can donate blood if he has not had sexual relations with a man for the last 12 months.
Explain that the FDA is an agency working inside the US Department of Health and Human Services, which works for the safety of public health services. In April 2020, the FDA reduced this period due to a shortage of blood during the pandemic. And did three months. Recently, the US federal body has proposed a guideline. Which will reduce the restrictions imposed on the gay and transgender community.
Furthermore, on January 27, 2023, the FDA announced that individuals irrespective of their community. If they have recently had sexual relations, then they cannot donate blood for three months. The FDA had also said in its guideline that the blood donation rules for men who have sex with other men, women who have sex with other women, will be changed from time to time.
The FDA had said that these changes would be taken keeping in mind the scientific data At the same time, according to a report in The Guardian, it was told that there is no harm in lifting this ban on the people of the gay community. But it depends person to person. That is, any decision will be taken keeping their sexual habit in mind.
United Kingdom has made blood donation of LGBT people FAIR (For the Assessment of Individualised Risk)) has been adopted. According to this "All blood donors" They are asked whether they have a sexual relationship with one or more partners, regardless of gender and their relationship with multiple partners. And if they have had anal sex within 3 months, blood will not be taken from the donor anyway.
A company in Canada called Health Canada Which works on the services of blood donation in the country. According to its rules, till 1980, the homosexual community was kept out of the blood donor category. According to this rule, people of the gay community could not donate blood for 30 years after having a sexual relationship. This period was very long. Which has also been opposed.
What was the reason for the ban
Activists had been saying about this rule for many years that this policy is discriminatory. It is not even based on science. In response to this, a research was also cited, according to which after testing all the blood samples, the chances of getting HIV infection from the blood supply is very less. In this data, one out of more than two crore samples is likely to be infected.
It was also told in this research that no HIV positive person has donated blood in recent years. Tell that this ban on gay men was brought in 1992 when after donating blood to thousands of people They had HIV infection.
According to the official website of Health Canada, since 2011, this period for such people started working at a time interval of more than 10 years and less than 5 years. In 2019, this time interval was reduced from one year to three months.
In 2021, Health Canada "high risk blood donor " focused his attention on. And in 2022, making screening of sexual relations a norm, blood donation rules were made.
A kind of rules regarding blood donation for gay men in England and Scotland
In 2017, England and Scotland also relaxed blood donation rules for sex workers and gay men. Men who have sex with men in both countries You can donate blood after 3 months instead of 12 months. And sex workers in both the countries can donate blood at an interval of three months. According to the UK’s The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissue and Organs, there is no harm from the new rules.
What is the benefit of the three-month gap, understand < /strong>
All donated blood is screened for hepatitis B and C, and HIV, as well as some other viruses. Scientists agree that three months of sexual The virus or infection from the gap is not effective in the blood.
Professor James Neuberger told the BBC that, "The techniques to sense the presence of the virus have greatly improved, so we are now able to extract the virus from the body very early in the infection. In such a situation it has become very easy for us to tell whether a blood donor is infected with the virus or not.
Alex Phillips, Head of Blood Donation Policy at the Terence Higgins Trust Told the BBC that the reforms that have taken place in different countries regarding the rules of blood donation "Victory of science over tarnished beliefs" prove to. They said: " All the evidence testifies that the sexual gap of three months is the perfect time when a gay man can donate his blood. Deborah Gould, chief executive of the National AIDS Trust, told the BBC that the new rules were a threat to gay and bisexual men. "a big win" can be considered.
What are the rules in other countries
Countries such as the Netherlands, Israel, Argentina, France, Greece and Germany already have rules for people from these communities. But blood donation has been banned or plans are being made to ban it. In Australia, gay and bisexual men are allowed to donate blood at the time of blood donation, but they can only donate blood if they have not had a sexual relationship for 3 months after donating blood.
Other countries like the Czech Republic and Switzerland have completely banned blood donation from gay communities. According to a report by the Belga news agency, gay communities in Denmark, Estonia and Finland have been allowed to donate blood only after one year of sexual relations in Belgium. Similar to these countries, Spain, Italy, Israel and the UK have also relaxed such restrictions on blood donation.