New rules will make it easier for gay men to donate blood in Norway. They’ll soon have the same quarantine times as heterosexuals after any change in sex partners.
Male homosexuals haven’t been allowed to donate blood for 12 months after changing partners. That amounted to twice as long as the quarantine time for heterosexuals, a difference based on fears of HIV infection that could be transmitted through blood transfusions.
The Labour-Center government asked the state health directorate last year to re-evaluate the quarantine rules for blood donors, not least since HIV infection has been consistently on the decline. Demand for blood and blood donors, meanwhile, remains high.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported the result of the re-evaluation this week: Quarantine time for gay men will now be the same as for everyone else, six months, from next year. “This shows that society is going in the right direction at a time when I think many are afraid it’s going in the wrong direction,” Daniel Lorentzen, a 21-year-old gay man, told Aftenposten. He’s eager to donate blood himself.
“We want to make it possible for men who have sex with men and live in monogamous relationships to be treated in the same manner as heterosexual couples,” said Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol of the Labour Party. The rule change will take effect in 2024.