Sexual practices, rather than sexual preferences, exclude male homosexuals from donating blood, Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia argued this evening.
Wednesday 16 October 2013 - 19:59 by a Staff Reporter
Quizzed by Labour MP Deo Debattista, the Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia explained that the Ministry does not foresee a lifting of the blood donation ban for male homosexuals.
"It is immaterial whether a man is homosexual. The rule would still apply to heterosexual males if it transpires that they have been engaging in such practices. Consequently, coupled with their sexual practices, male homosexuals are excluded from donating blood as they form part of 'high risk groups'."
Currently, male homosexuals are forbidden from donating blood consideration in compliance with the European Council's recommendations.
The Minister explained that the EU Council criteria in blood donation can be changed by scientific findings, but as yet, no scientific findings have led to the Ministry relaxing the ban and changing the blood donation criteria for homosexual males.
This stand has irked many, with critics dubbing as 'discriminatory' as it frames each gay man as promiscuous. Moreover, critics have stated that gay men should not be restricted from donating blood as their blood would still be analysed for infections or diseases, thus alleviating fears.
However, following the Minister's response, relaxation of the ban seems to be far from materialising.