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Gay men in Sweden stopped from giving blood - despite rule change

Thursday, 17 November 2011
Blood Centre in the municipality of Sundsvall will defy the welfare board’s decision on Monday which had passed the rule that increases the opportunity for gay men to donate blood.

“The Medical Products Agency, does not accept blood from gay men to be used in the manufacture of medicines, and because we can not guarantee that there will be wrongly sorted I do not see how we do it,” says Ulf Jansson, head of medical services at the county laboratory in Västernorrland, to the paper, Dagbladet in Sundsvall.

The rules were amended in 2010 so that even men who have sex with men (SMS) can donate blood if they lived in a relationship for a year or if it's been a year since they have had recent sexual contact.

“We have never seen this from a discrimination perspective - for us it's about a patient safety. Men who lived with the same partner for many years may have left the blood anyway. The new provision means that blood centres must become better at asking the donors,” said Anders Printz from the Department of Welfare, told the newspaper.

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The MPA does not accept that blood from MSM is used as feedstock in the manufacture of medicines but blood centres have so far been granted an exemption from the new rule change.

Now the Welfare Department thinks blood centres had plenty of time to develop an action plan for how the blood should be separated.
“Instead, they criticized the new rule,” said Anders Printz.

But at the county hospital in Sundsvall, it will not accept gay men as blood donors.
“We do not have the opportunity to safely discriminate blood components from MSM from other donors,” says Ulf Jansson, and indicates that there are more groups in society who can not donate blood.

“Examples include persons born in South America, Africa or Asia, as well as people who do not understand or speak Swedish,” he says.
By Scancomark.se Team




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