By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com December 28 2012 4:32 PM ET
A little-noticed procedural change that removes Mexico's ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men went into effect on Christmas day, according to Blabbeando. The new health norm was first approved in August, published in the nation's regulatory diary in October, and went into effect on December 25, doing away with the two-decade-old ban, reports Andrés Duque.
Duque reports the old policy explicitly banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood due to their "practices" and "increased probability of acquiring HIV or hepatitis infection." The new norm eliminates this carte-blanche ban on blood from gay and bisexual men, instead banning donations from people with HIV or hepatitis and their partners who engage in "risky sexual practices" regardless of sexual orientation, according to Blabbeando.
Duque reports that those "risky sexual practices" are defined in the new regulations as any that may include "contact or exchange of blood, sexual secretions or other bodily secretions between someone who might have a transmittable disease and areas of another person's body through which an infectious agent might be able to penetrate."
Blabbeando also notes that Mexico's National Council to Prevent Discrimination confirmed reports of the updated policy and lauded the new regulations as a step forward in eliminating discrimination.
The United Kingdom and China have both recently lifted thier blood-donation bans for gay men and lesbians, but despite recent calls for the U.S. to follow suit, the country maintains its 29-year-old ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men.