“Gay men should be allowed to give blood”

Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Icelandic Minister for Health.

Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Icelandic Minister for Health. Photo: Rósa Braga

The Icelandic Minister for Health has restated his support for regulatory changes to enable homosexual men in Iceland to give blood.

In response to a formal question from Brynhildur Pétursdóttir MP (Bright Future Party –‘Björt framtíð’), Health Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson indicates that the consultative committee dealing will blood-donation issues will be actively looking into ways to change current rules so that homosexual men will no longer be banned from giving blood.

Júlíusson’s reply stipulates that:

  • the safety of blood recipients must always be a priority;
  • any legal or regulatory changes must be properly justified and based on high-quality data, which must be gathered, processed and evaluated with due regard to the safety of blood recipients and the work of the Icelandic Blood Bank;
  • epidemiologists should map infection screening as well as mapping infection itself;
  • a risk assessment for HIV and hepatitis C should be conducted on the basis of screening;
  • efforts must be made to increase screening for infection.

Other commitments have forced some members of the committee to leave and a new committee is currently being appointed. The new committee will begin work on final proposals when it has been formed.

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