Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti call for updating of law on gay blood donors

Labour party’s youth wing says that the current lifetime ban on blood donation by gay individuals is disporportionate and outdated. They propose a 12 month ban instead

The youth wing of the Labour party, Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti, have called for the law on on gay blood donors to be brought up to date.  

FŻL president Alex Saliba addressed the media outside the blood donation centre in Gwardamangia this afternoon, promoting the ” We all have the same blood” campaign. As the law currently stands, all those who have had sex with a gay male are subject to a lifetime ban on giving blood in Malta. 

“This illness was once subject to taboo but advances in medical science have rendered it detectable much earlier than before,” Saliba said. FŻL are in favour of adopting the approach favoured in other countries including America, the UK, Italy and France,  where  men who have had gay sex, or women who have had sex with men who have had gay sex,  are made to wait 12 months before being  allowed to donate blood.

The current lifetime ban dates back to the 1980s and has not been updated in Malta since,  Saliba said.

Next week FŻL will be making its case for the lifting of the lifetime ban to ministers Helena Dalli and Chris Fearne.

The ECHR has held that preventing an individual from ever giving blood on these grounds is a violation of human rights, the group says,  calling on government to end the “disproportionate measure”.

Saliba added that he hoped this would not be the last change,  but that in time scientific progress would decrease the 12-month period further.