I was reading this Wikipedia page and I found that in some of the countries the color of the two maps differ.

For example, in India men who have sex with men may not donate blood (permanent deferral). But on the other hand in the same country female sex partners of men who have sex with men may donate blood (no deferral).

Isn't this contradictory? If it's not allowed for a gay man to donate blood why is it allowed for a woman who has a gay male partner to donate blood? Isn't the said woman also affected by the fluids of that man in sexual intercourse?

The same question can be asked about Iceland; of course the color of map differs for blood donation by women.

The other countries have the same colors in the two maps, except for no data which is out of scope.

  • 3
    Interesting question if true - the only logical reason I can think of is that the indian policy makers rightly assumed that a gay man is unlikely to have much sex with a women, and thus her exposure to STD is likely to be less.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


There is actually a long list of restrictions on who is not allowed to donate they blood. It includes humans engaged in activities that increase risk of HIV infection (like new sexual partner or more than one sexual partner in the last 3 months), and humans after some diseases like malaria or hepatitis B, C. It also includes conditions that are likely more for protecting the donor than the recipient (pregnancy, high blood pressure). Some of these restrictions are temporary, others permanent.

The list is clearly composed assuming that allowing to donate the blood is something medics can make decisions about. It is not seen as a right that must be absolutely respected, and refusing it on medical reasons is not seen as discrimination.

As a result, these restrictions need not be logical and consistent in the scope of equal rights of any kind. Blood may also be racially or ethnically specific. Respecting these biological facts when using the donated blood is not racism.

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