Mexico has beat the United States and Canada in removing the antiquated ban ... and apparently has become the first country in the Americas to do so.
A little noticed Mexican health norm first approved in August and then published in the country's regulatory Official Federation Diary on October 26th has gone into effect today essentially doing away with a two-decade ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
The old norm (NOM 003-SSA2) explicitly banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood based on their "practices" and their "increased probability of acquiring HIV or hepatitis infection". The new norm (NOM 253) eliminates specific bans on gay and bisexual men and instead bans blood donations from people with HIV or hepatitis and their partners and people who engage in "risky sexual practices" regardless of their sexual identity.
This becomes the latest progressive news on LGBT issues from Mexico. Earlier this month you will recall the Supreme Court of Mexico issued a landmark decision that struck down the same-sex marriage ban in the southern state of Oaxaca. Marriage equality has been the law in Mexico City since December 2009. Those same sex marriages are recognized in all of Mexico's 31 states. Same sex marries are also allowed in Quintana Roo.
In July 2010, the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability voted 9-6 against lifting the Food and Drug Administration ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. The current policy bans any man who has had sex with a man since 1977 from donating blood. Technological advances have rendered that ban scientifically unwarranted. The HHS panel said that "more research is needed."
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