Lesbians have been banned from donating blood in China since 1998, but a policy that went into effect Sunday has lifted that ban.
The requirements for blood donation used to ban any “homosexuals” from donating (unclear whether this applied to just gay men and lesbians or if bisexual & trans people were also included). Now, the provision about a “homosexual identity” has been removed, though men who have sex with men are still banned from donating, much like in the United States.
“Judging from the amendment, the country’s views on homosexuals and AIDS has progressed,” Li said, noting that gay men were still thought of as a high-risk group for AIDS transmission, but lesbians are a low-risk group.
Huijin, 27, a lesbian in Beijing, said that she is happy to know about the amendment as it has restored lesbians’ rights to donate blood.
“But the amendment is still not complete,” she said, adding that gay men should also have the same rights.
This is progress, but certainly not the end of this journey. We need to press for more fair guidelines for blood donation and an end to donor discrimination in China, in the U.S. and across the world.