Blood donators are inactive in the summertime

The Red Cross in Finland announced last week that there is a serious lack of blood in Finland. The blood service hopes that blood donors would be active in the near future, even in the summertime when the lack of blood is usual. This brought up the old argument if homosexual men are allowed to donate blood or not.

The blood service explains that there are a lot more risks of having an HIV infection among the homosexual men, compared to the heterosexual. This is an international practice and also EU has rules about blood safety. The Blood Directive sets EU-wide quality and safety standards for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood. The EU wants to ensure the same kind of possibilities and rights concerning blood transfusion in the member countries.

The restrictions of donating blood are being checked out every year both nationally and in the EU-level. Generally the restrictions have been reduced lately, mainly among medication policies. The homosexual men are still banned from donating blood. The authorities say that the risk of HIV infection is 20 times higher for gay men than heterosexuals. Many associations that stand up for gay rights think that the policy is discriminative.

The 14th of June is the World Blood Donor Day, this year hosted by Australia.

Miia Koskelainen

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