Sanquin eases rules for donating plasma by gays

Blood bank Sanquin wants to make it possible for homosexuals to donate plasma. I cant do that now. The organization tells us that plasma donation will be subject to the same (postponement) rules as for blood donation by men who have had sex with men. Theyre allowed to give blood these days if its been at least four months since they had sex.

Per when plasma can be donated is not yet clear, says a spokesman for Sanquin. A discussion is scheduled on Monday with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and homosexual interest organisation COC and patient associations. According to the sayman, in a month or two, it will be clear when this change can take effect.

The procrastination rules for blood donation and the fact that homosexuals cannot donate plasma aroused many indignation. The interest organisation COC also considers that the four months postponement for donation of blood is not justified. Earlier, the organization said that when it comes to COC, blood donation should be about whether you have safe sex, not about who you have sex with.

โ€œ Shift โ€œ

According to the Sanquin spokesman, there is a โ€œshift in the field with regard to plasma donation by men who have sex with men. International policy is being relaxed, since the 1980s (AIDS era) the virus-inactivating steps in the production process of plasma medicines have improved significantly.

There was a strong resistance from the patient corner. But since there are alternative drugs that are not plasma-based, it also decreases, he says.