Friday, 23 May 2008

Russian Health Ministry Ends Ban on Blood Donations by Gays

Russian gay activists celebrate their first major victory two years after the start of the campaign

MOSCOW, May 23, 2008 (  –  The Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development has repealed the ban on blood donations by homosexual people, it emerged last night.

This move by the Russian authorities  is a victory for the activists from Russian LGBT Human Rights, Project, who have fought the restrictions for more than two years.

Tatyana Golikova, the Minister of Health and Social Development signed the decree on April 16, it emerged yesterday.

The decree amends the rules on blood donations which were  implemented on September 14, 2001.

According to the amendments, provisions for absolute ban on blood donations by people from the so called groups of high risk (homosexuals, drug addicts and prostitutes) are being repealed.


Answering my question (passed by a reader of this blog), Trygve Utstumo (Armenia and me blog), who is working with Armenian Red Cross now says the following re gay blood donation in Armenia (I agree and assume that in Armenia it is like in most countries, for now, and it is discrimination!):

"About the blood donations: Armenia Red Cross is currently not involved in the blood transfusions in Armenia. As far as I’ve understood this is organized by a sub-body of the Ministry of Health. I honestly can’t answer his question, but I would assume that they do as in most other countries: not accepting blood donations from practicing homosexuals. (Not saying that I agree with this practice.)"

Hopefully, this great news from Russia will have influence at some point on Armenia too.


Anonymous said...

hopefully, it will have an effect in the UK too where it's also banned! (even if a man only had gay sex once in his life in 1973 he still can't donate in the UK).
As for drug addicts though...not sure they would have very good blood anyway!

artmika said...

Yeah, I had the UK and other countries in my mind too when writing this post.

As prominent Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev - who campaigned for years to see this ban lifted - says: "Russia will become an example in this respect for other countries, including western democracies, where such restrictions are still in force."

Let's hope this will be the case.