Blood ban overturned in Israel

The outright ban on gay men donating blood has been completely overturned in Israel, possibly the first country to do so.

The Times of Israel reports:

Gay and bisexual men in Israel will be allowed to donate blood through Magen David Adom in the same way as other blood donors, after the emergency service on Wednesday announced a “double testing” system that screens blood twice.

Last year, the Health Ministry announced that gay men could donate blood, but only if 12 months had passed since their last sexual encounter.

The health service will test the blood once at donation and test it a second time before infusion. The blood will be frozen for four months in a special freezer.

Israel’s Health Ministry has accepted the double-test procedure on a two-year trial basis, which means gay and bisexual men in Israel will no longer need to wait between having a sexual encounter and donating blood.

“The constant refusal to receive blood donations from male members of the LGBT community, and their requirement to lie, was an insult, but it has come to an end,” said Chen Ariely, chairperson of the Aguda-LGBTQ Taskforce.