Sunday, November 28

We need more blood donors. Nevertheless, we exclude one group.

  • Daniel Lorentzen (19)

    County Board, AUF Akershus

The vast majority of gay men do not have HIV or AIDS, writes Daniel Lorentzen (19) in the county board of AUF Akershus.

Now is the time to give equal rights to all.

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We often hear that there is a need for new blood donors in Norway. At the same time, the regulations exclude gay men from being able to donate blood. Is it not high time to put an end to these outdated prejudices against homosexuals?

In 2016, the Norwegian Directorate of Health decided that men who have sex with other men, should be able to donate blood from 1 April 2017. This was a step in the right direction, but a number of conditions were set that bear the stamp of old prejudices.

HIV and AIDS

Men who have had sex with other men must today wait for 12 months from the last time they had sex with a man before they can donate blood. Men who have a regular male partner must also live in celibacy for 12 months in order to donate blood.

All the blood that is given to the blood bank is tested for several diseases. HIV is one of these.

National Institute of Public Health recommends getting tested for HIV six weeks after the time you think you have been infected. Then the test is 90 percent safe. Despite this, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has chosen to set its limit at 12 months.

The vast majority of gay men do not have HIV or AIDS. The last thing anyone needs is for the state to perpetuate prejudices that we see can have major consequences for people, even today.

Equal rights

The Labor Party has long been in favor of gay rights. When the case was last up for consideration, the Labor Party voted in favor of the proposal that gays should be able to donate blood, as long as they had not had sex with another man in the last 12 months.

Now is the time to take this fully into account and give equal rights to all.

A change in the rules for blood donation will be a clear signal from the state that they support all orientations, and that men who have sex with men are nothing to fear.

We have to listen to research and reason. Men who have a regular male partner must be able to donate blood, and the quarantine period for men who have sex with other men must be drastically shortened or removed completely.


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