Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that an individual cannot be barred from giving blood based on their sexual orientation, reported local media Tuesday.
“The risk of contamination depends on risk behavior, not on the donor population. A heterosexual person that has sexual relations with strangers and without protection is mucho more likely to contract HIV than a gay man with a stable partner that uses protection,” said the ruling.
The court made the decision in response to an appeal from a man in Bucaramanga, capital of the eastern department of Santander, who was barred from donating blood after workers learned he was gay.
The nurses at the health center argued there was a government decree banning them from receiving blood donated by gay individuals.
The ruling ordered that the Ministry of Health design training guides, programs and plans for health professionals and laboratory workers on how to poll and interview potential donors without asking them their sexual orientation.
“Policy should focus on screening all donors for high-risk behavior, instead of excluding donors based on who they choose to have sex with,” according to the high court’s decision.
The judges noted as well that that the exclusion and discrimination against the gay community in Colombia cannot continue, and called for a public health policy that eradicates this type of violation of individual freedoms.
Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled Friday that the government cannot restrict gay couples’ freedom to express affection in public after two men were forced to leave a Cali mall after they were seen kissing.