The Norwegian Directorate of Health will re-evaluate the rule of 12-month quarantine for men who have sex with men. – We support the decision they had to make, says general manager of the Health Committee Rolf Martin Angeltvedt.
It is the Ministry of Health and Care Services that has given the Norwegian Directorate of Health the task of assessing the rules for blood donation for men who have sex with men, Helse states. and the Ministry of Care in a press release.
– It is important to facilitate that those who can and want to donate blood can do this in a safe way. This means that we must have regulations that are updated on professional knowledge about the risk of who can donate blood, says Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkhol.
Follows Denmark and Sweden
As of today’s legislation, several groups may be temporarily quarantined from donating blood. This applies to other people who have changed sexual partners, had a piercing, been ill or traveled to a country where infectious diseases such as blood transfusions are widespread.
Men who have sex with men must wait at least 12 months since the last sexual contact to donate blood according to today’s guidelines.
– Spokespersons for queers have stated that the current regulations are unreasonable. We see that other countries, including Denmark, Sweden and Canada, have recently made changes to their regulations for this group. In order to support the blood donor system, we must have a set of rules that are based on professional recommendations and common sense. It must not be unnecessarily difficult for any groups to donate blood, says Kjerkol.
The health committee: – Trust that it is right
The general manager of the Health Committee, Rolf Martin Angeltvedt, tells Blikk that the Health Committee always trusts health professional assessments. This applies both to current legislation and to any changes that may occur.
– When professionals have set a quarantine period of 12 months, we have trusted that it is the right assessment. That the same professionals will now look at the regulations and the quarantine period, we will of course also support the decision they may make, Angeltvedt says.
Angeltvedt points out that in recent years Norway has seen a large decline in sexually transmitted infections among people who have sex with men, as special HIV infections.
– It is possible that this decline and the health authorities’ possible revision of the legislation are connected, he says.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health must cooperate with the National Institute of Public Health to assess changes in the quarantine rules for blood donation for men who have sex with men. The work must take into account the changes in the rules that have been made in other countries, including Sweden and Denmark. Deadline for the assignment is April 1, 2023.