Russia to lift gay blood ban says ministry of health
At the initiative of Project GayRussia, Russian gays will be allowed to donate their blood
July 19, 2006
MOSCOW — Russia is going to lift the gay blood ban said the Office of the General Prosecutor and the Ministry of Health in a joint answer to a request sent last May by Russian gay activists, Nikolai Alekseev and Nikolai Baev, of Project GayRussia.
"The General Prosecutor recognised that there is nothing in the law which prevents gays from donating their blood. As a result, his office has asked the Ministry of Health to cancel its instruction, made in 2001, which forbids blood donations by gays," explained Nikolai Alekseev.
According to the instruction on blood donors released by the Minister of Health on September 14th, 2001, homosexuals, drug addicts and prostitutes are considered to belong to a HIV high risk group. "The Ministry of Health has informed us that this instruction will be shortly amended and gays will not be forbidden anymore to give their blood," said Nikolai Baev.
"A symbolic discrimination will end. This is probably the first positive gain for gay Russians since 1993, which saw the decriminalisation of male homosexuality," added Nikolai Alekseev.
Although the answer to their claim came two weeks before the G8 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Alekseev and Baev refuse to see this reform as a way for President Putin's administration to erase the negative effects of the banned and suppressed Gay Pride march last May. The authorities did not publicise this change in blood donation policy.
'Russia will allow gays to donate their blood but still forbids them to hold a march for tolerance,' sad Nikolai Alekseev.
Project GayRussia will closely monitor the removal of the blood ban.
Nikolai Alekseev and Nikolai Baev intend to be among the first to donate their blood in Russia once the ban is lifted.
Earlier this week, the French Health Minister announced that his country will also take the necessary steps to allow gays to give their blood.
The UK continues to maintain a blood donation policy that discriminates against all men who have had sex with men . even men who are HIV negative and who once had safe sex 30 years ago! – Issued by Outrage!
Press release regarding blood donation by the SA Joint Working Group