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Blood in short supply, but: gays are still discriminated against

Blood is scarce but gays are still discriminated against

For weeks, the discussions about the special regulations for blood donations for gays have not ceased. Now, among other things, the Corona crisis has caused the reserves to become scarce. At a time when citizens were urged to stay at home if possible, few people donated. Afterwards, it was among other things the fear of possible infection that ensured that donating blood was not at the top of the to-do list for many people.

Now the German Red Cross has stated that the reserves are significantly emptier than usual. Even during the lockdown - according to media reports - more blood was donated than now.

Clear differences between the individual regions

The shortage of donated blood is not the same in all regions of Germany. Especially in the north-east of the country, the situation is serious. Especially important: blood reserves do not last "forever". The basic rule here is that donated blood must be used within 42 days. This is why it is so important that new donors keep coming in to replenish the stocks.

Depending on the blood group, the conclusion is even more sobering. Especially with regard to rare blood groups, the situation is serious. The situation is also fuelled by the fact that demand is increasing. Because: precisely those operations that were postponed during the Corona crisis, for example to keep places free in the intensive care units, are now being made up for. This means: said increased demand meets a comparatively small supply.

Where does the blood come from?

According to media reports, there has not yet been a case where donor blood was not available - for example, in the context of a major blood loss. In an emergency, reserves would be organised from other regions. However, it does not take a sharpened medical mind to realise that this cannot be a permanent situation.

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In some cases, the blood needed must be available "right now". Therefore, it should be in everyone's interest to rekindle people's willingness to donate and thus ensure full supplies.

Why are people donating less blood NOW?

Justified question. After all, the "big lockdown" is over and people seem to have become somewhat accustomed to the "new normality". However, it is also certain that Corona has changed everyday life. Many citizens are worried about their livelihood, are looking for a new job or have to come to terms with the new situation. Accordingly, they are not thinking about donating blood, but about how life will go on for them.

However, a look at the social networks also shows that there is growing incomprehension about the fact that homosexuals are not allowed to donate in such an uncomplicated way as heterosexuals. Many citizens are angry and declare that the need for blood cannot be so high if gays are still excluded.

For some days now, rumours have been circulating that politicians are explicitly looking for solutions with regard to this issue. Among other things, there are rumours that the prescribed abstinence period before donating blood for gays is now to be lowered.

However, there is no official statement yet. It therefore remains to be seen how the situation will develop in the coming weeks. Perhaps the situation will ease a little even without new legislation? After all, the figures of the past years also show that less blood tends to be donated in summer than in winter. However, the characteristic "blood donation slump" has rarely been this deep...

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