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Austria to reduce barriers for LGBT+ citizens to donate blood

Austria has lifted a de facto ban on LGBT+ citizens donating blood, the health ministry announced on Friday.

Citizens will only be prevented from donating blood if they have had sex with three different partners in the past three months, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Previous laws prohibited anyone in Austria from donating blood if they had had “risky sex” in the past 12 months. Transsexuals and non-binary citizens have been completely banned from donating blood.

LGBT+ activists said the rules allowed organizations to exclude gay, bisexual and transgender citizens because of the supposed risk of transmitting AIDS.

“We are ending the discrimination of another age,” Greens Health Minister Johannes Rauch said in a statement.

“If someone wants to help by donating, there’s no reason they should be prevented from doing so because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,”

The change in blood donation regulations will come into force “this summer”, a government spokesman told AFP.

France, Spain, Italy and the UK have all recently lifted barriers that prevent LGBT+ citizens from donating blood.

euronews Gt

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