The European Court of Justice, the European Union's highest judicial body, ruled Wednesday that France can keep its lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have -- or have ever had -- sex with men. There were some caveats, though, The Wall Street Journal reports.
While the court said that recent data -- which shows that the rate of HIV among French gay and bi men is 200 times higher than among straight men in the country -- justified the ban, the judges urged France to come up with less discriminatory ways of keeping its blood supply disease-free.
The French court that will ultimately decide how the nation moves forward with the blood ban needs to find "less onerous" ways to protect donors, the EU court said in its ruling. The French health minister is on board.
"Discrimination of donors based on their sexual orientation is unacceptable and only the security of recipient can justify limitations on blood donation," Marisol Touraine told the Journal.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is reversing its lifetime ban on gay and bi men but still rejecting men who've had sex with another man in the past year.