Starting this month, lesbians are permitted to donate blood, whereas men who have sex with men (MSM) are still banned from donating, according to the Ministry of Health.
This new regulation has attracted much online attention. One poster on Sina Weibo, China’s biggest micro blogging platform, called the new rule “unfair and discriminatory.”
The new guidelines are mainly because lesbians and MSMs have different ways of sexual intercourse, said Fu Qiang, vice director of Nanjing Red Cross Blood Center.
Compared to lesbians, men who have sex with men are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases, especially AIDS. Only MSMs are not allowed to donate blood; gay men who are not sexually active are not banned, Fu added.
A recent survey shows that the transmission of HIV transmission is increasingly associated with sexual behavior.
According to the Nanjing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50 percent of the city’s HIV positive people in 2011 were infected as a result of MSM.
It’s hard to recognize whether a blood donator is an MSM or not, which may cause a problem on the long-term, Fu said.
(China.org.cn by Ma Yujia July 10, 2012)