“Gay men should be allowed to give blood”
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.