Finland will not follow the lead of neighbouring Sweden and instead will continue to forbid blood donations by gay men, says the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.
Similar restrictions were recently eased in Sweden and as of March gay men will be able to donate blood if the have not been sexually active in the past twelve months, reports YLE.
According to Satu Pastila, the Finland Blood Service’s director for donations, such a move will not take place in that country. “Sexual contact between men will continue to bring a permanent ban on donating blood, as is the practice in nearly all European and other industrialised countries,” said Pastila, who claimed that the policy had been in place since the 1980s when the HIV virus began its rise through predominantly homosexual males.
“Reversing the decision would require that the risks within this segment of the population would be the same as the population in general, and that is not the case in Finland. The risk of an HIV infection from sex between men is higher by about a factor of ten, than it is for the rest of the population,” claimed Pastila.
A lifetime ban on donating blood is in place for any males in Finland who have had even one sexual encounter with another man.
The flaw is the impossibility of determining how many same-sex partners a ‘heterosexual’ man has had in his life.