In a massive win for LGBTQ+ rights, Austria has removed its archaic band on blood donations from queer individuals. On 20 May, Green party Health Minister Johannes Rauch announced the groundbreaking news in a statement. “We are putting an end to discrimination from another age”, he said. “If someone wants to help by donating, there is no reason why they should be prevented from doing so because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Under the new set of rules, any person that has had sexual intercourse in the last three months will be prevented from donating blood – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
This is a stark change from the country’s previous regulations, which saw non-binary and trans individuals banned from donating blood completely.
Queer men were also blocked from donating for 12 months if they engaged in sexual intercourse. According to the Australian Associated Press, the inclusive adjustment will be implemented this autumn and will be evaluated by health experts after two years.
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