Israel Clears Gay Men to Donate Blood Pending Double Screening

Israel Clears Gay Men to Donate Blood
BORYANA KATSAROVA/AFP/Getty Images

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.

On January 6, 2018 the Health Ministry announced that gay men could donate blood, but only if 12 months had passed since their last sexual encounter. But a coalition of gay rights groups including the Israel AIDS Task Force and the Agudah LGBT Taskforce, as well as MDA and MK Merav Ben-Ari, challenged the procedure as “irrelevant and unrealistic.”

MDA’s director of blood Services, Dr. Eilat Shinar, developed a special procedure that will test the blood once at donation and a second time before infusion, MDA said in a statement. In the interim, the blood will be frozen for four months in a special freezer.

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