Danish Health Minister called upon to lift ban on gay blood donation

six of Denmark's political parties have called on Minister Nick Haekkerup to review the law

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The Independent Online

The Danish Health Minister has been called on to lift a ban that prohibits the nation's gay men from being allowed to donate blood.

According to Pink News, Health Minister Nick Haekkerup has been asked by six of Denmark’s political parties to review the law on the grounds that it has no scientific basis whatsoever.

Those groups that have called for the change argue that not only will lifting the ban increase the number of people able to donate; it will also increase the number of young men able to donate - a group that is identified as one of the best donor groups.

A health spokesman for Enhedslisten, Denmark’s most left leaning party, said: “We constantly have to recruit new blood donors and we especially need younger men, who generally have a high blood percentage, and are vital donors.

“It’s crazy to exclude a larger group for no scientific reason.”

Haekkerup has admitted that in light of the calls he will take a look at the issue and discuss the ban in parliament.

Denmark currently has highest blood donation rate in the whole of Europe, and a move by Denmark to review its gay blood donation ban could see similar bans lifted in other countries.

In countries such as Uruguay, Mexico and Portugal, gay men are able to donate blood without issue.

However, in other leading Western nations like the US, France and Germany men are still permitted from donating altogether.

In England Scotland and Wales, a complete ban was put on gay men from donating during the “AIDs crisis” in the 80s. However, in 2011 it was lifted with a one-year deferral coming in, meaning gay and bisexual men would have to abstain from sex with men for a year if they wished to donate.

The issue of whether gay men should be allowed to donate blood, has been an issue of late after North Ireland’s Health Secretary Edwin Poots decided against lifting the ban on gay blood donations in the country.

Despite moves by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to encourage Poots to lift the ban, Northern Ireland still prohibits any gay men from donating blood.