China Ends Ban On Lesbian Blood Donation

China has lifted its ban on lesbians donating blood, although men who have sex with men are still prohibited from giving, just like in the United States and Britain. China’s ban was originally enacted in 1998 to bar all gays and lesbians from donating out of fear they would spread HIV. As lesbian activist Xu Bin (“Xian”) points out that the policy is an improvement because it “doesn’t mention homosexual identity but only fences off some who have certain sex behaviors, because AIDS is not caused by one’s homosexual identity but improper sexual behavior.” Still, even the year of abstinence the UK mandates for gay men to give blood is significantly stigmatizing to their lives and identities.