Denmark: Health Minister urged to lift gay blood ban

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A blood donation ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from giving blood in Denmark is being criticised for lacking scientific evidence.

Copenhagen’s Health Minister Nick Hækkerup has been called by six political parties to revise a ban against men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood.

In 2011, England, Wales and Scotland introduced a one-year deferral for gay and bisexual men who wish to donate blood.

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Edwin Poots has resisted ending the lifetime ban there.

Whilst in countries such as Uruguay, Mexico and Portugal gay and bisexual men are able to donate blood without issue.

Enhedslisten, Denmark’s most left-wing political party, said lifting the ban would help increase blood stocks.

Health spokesperson Stine Brix told the Copenhagen Post: “We constantly have to recruit new blood donors and we especially need younger men, who generally have a high blood percentage, and are vital donors.

“It’s crazy to exclude a larger group for no scientific reason.”

Mr Hækkerup said he is ready to discuss the issue with the other parties.