France ends law banning blood donation from homosexual men

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France Plans to Lift Ban on Blood Donations From Gay Men

France has decided to end a more than 30-year old law that banned homosexual men from donating blood, a measure originally put in place to stop the spread of diseases such as HIV.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Wednesday discrimination against potential blood donors on the basis of sexual orientation was unacceptable because it presumed that homosexual men all had HIV.

After a review of the measure since 2012, Touraine opted to lift the exclusion that has been in place since 1983 and was subsequently reinforced three times.

SEE MORE: Tuberculosis passes HIV as No. 1 infectious disease

"Giving blood is a generous act that cannot be conditioned by sexual orientation," Touraine said in a speech dedicated to the issue.

"On the basis of proposals that were made to me ... I have decided to put an end to the exclusion from blood donation of men that have sex with men."

Touraine said blood donation from homosexual men would be allowed in France from next spring and would be monitored under strict conditions already in place.

France has the highest rate of HIV among homosexual men in Europe. Half of those newly infected with HIV between 2003 and 2008 were men who had sex with other men, according to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).

Related: See photos from recent LGBT pride events in France:

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France ends law banning blood donation from homosexual men
People take part in the annual Gay Pride homosexual, bisexual and transgender visibility march on June 27, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in the annual Gay Pride homosexual, bisexual and transgender visibility march on June 27, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in the annual Gay Pride homosexual, bisexual and transgender visibility march on June 27, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in the annual Gay Pride homosexual, bisexual and transgender visibility march on June 27, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
People pose during the Pink Parade: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebration in Nice, southeastern France, on July 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants in the annual Gay Pride march parade in a street of Paris, Saturday June 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
Revelers parade on the Sully bridge on The Seine River with Notre Dame Cathedral in background during the annual Gay Pride march in Paris, France, Saturday, June 28, 2014.Around the globe, LGBT Pride Month has been marked with parades and marches, festivals and dances, and in some cases, protests and counter-protests. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Reveler kisses a baby next to a man wearing a shirt reading "SOS Homophobia" during the annual Gay Pride march in Paris, France, Saturday, June 28, 2014. President Barack Obama's administration that launched the push to make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights an international issue, has taken the U.S. gay rights revolution global, using American embassies across the world as outposts in a struggle that still hasn't been won at home. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
People take part in the Pink Parade: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebration in Nice, southeastern France, on July 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 27: A transsexual holds a cross like Jesus to ask for the right to use their own body as they want as thousands of people gather to support gay rights by celebrating during the Gay Pride Parade on June 27, 2015 in Paris, France. Yesterday the United States Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the nation further adding to celebrations of gay pride across the world. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
People take part in the Pink Parade: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebration in Nice, southeastern France, on July 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
People pose during the Pink Parade: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride celebration in Nice, southeastern France, on July 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
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The court ruled in April that banning homosexual men from giving blood may be justified where strictly necessary and only if there are no alternatives for preventing the transmission of severe infectious diseases.

Under EU law, people who are at high risk of contracting severe infectious diseases because of their sexual behavior may be permanently banned from blood donation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014 recommended easing the ban on homosexual blood donors to men who have abstained from sex with other men for a year prior to a donation, similar to policies in Britain and Australia.

WATCH: FDA easing restrictions on gay blood donations:

FDA Easing Restrictions on Gay Blood Donations

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