Argentina Could Lift Gay Blood Ban by 2013

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Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies—the equal of the U.S. Congress—has passed a bill that would make it legal for gays and lesbians to donate blood.

On Nov. 29, legislators approved a measure that would remove questions pertaining to a person’s sexual orientation from forms used by clinics and blood banks, the Gay Star News reports.

One of the questions, for example, asks people if they’ve have sex with someone of the same sex in the past year. Those who answer “yes,” are not allowed to donate blood.

The bill will go up before the Argentine Senate next year.

“It seems unreal that despite achieving marriage equality and passing a gender identity law, discriminatory practices continue to persist,” Esteban Paulón, president of Argentina’s LGBT Federation, was quoted by GSN as saying.

Those against the change argue questions on sexual orientation are necessary to decrease the chances of blood contaminated with HIV/AIDS virus being donated.

In the U.S., any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is banned for life from donating blood. The federal policy was enacted in the 1985, when the risk of AIDS from transfusion was first recognized.

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