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France Allows Gays and Bisexuals Bone Marrow Donations Again
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of January 19, 2018) Since January 15, 2018, the French authorities have allowed gay and bisexual men to donate bone marrow again, which had been suspended since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in 1983. A number of interest groups had been consulted during the first semester of 2017, such as the association Homodonneur.
Since 2016, gays and bisexuals have been allowed again to donate blood after sexual abstinence of at least one year. Homodonneur and the other associations had been lobbying to grant gays and bisexuals the right to donate bone marrow again without any restrictions or discrimination.
In France, people in good health and between the ages of 18 and 50 can become bone marrow donors.
On the forms available online, the potential donors’ sexual orientation is not prompted. However, each person interested has to go through a personal interview later on.
Since the authorities do not impose any restrictions, it seems that no sexual abstinence is requested for bone marrow donations, as opposed to blood donations.
Bone marrow donations are needed to treat certain rare or more common diseases. The odds to find a compatible donor are about 1 in 4 within the family but only about 1 in 1 million within the general population. This is why there is a constant lack of bone marrow donors.
In France, bone marrow donations are completely free of charge. The government bears all the costs, and the donor may even be compensated for his or her loss of wages.
From March 10 to 18, 2018, the 13th awareness week for bone marrow donations is held in France. Since only about 35% of the registered donors are male, the focus is on mobilizing more male donors this year.