by Chi Ibe
A 1998 ban has been amended in China to allow lesbian women donate blood. From July 1, lesbians who were in a risk groups with homosexuals for AIDS in China were allowed to donate blood.
CNN reports that the change in regulation signals increased understanding of AIDS by the Chinese government however, the ban still applies to men who are sexually active with other men, but celibate homosexuals are permitted to give blood, according to the Ministry of Health’s website.
The original ban, enacted in 1998, barred homosexuals of both genders from donating blood out of a fear of spreading HIV and AIDS.
Xu Bin, a prominent lesbian rights activist in China, told the Global Times she applauded the amendment and what it means for lesbians in China. “It is also about our dignity and the elimination of blood donation discrimination,” she was quoted as saying.
Home HIV test closer to reality Xu, who goes by her nickname Xian, first tried to donate blood in 2008 after an earthquake in Sichuan Province, when she learned of the ban and began campaigning against it.
FDA to discuss HIV drug for prevention “It’s scientific that the policy doesn’t mention homosexual identity but only fences off some who have certain sex behaviors, because AIDS is not caused by one’s homosexual identity but improper sexual behavior,” Xian told the Global Times.
The new regulations also include several other changes, including raising the age limit to 60, increasing the amount donated from 200 ml to 400 ml and shortening the required period of time between donations.