Back in August 2018, it was announced that gay men in Malta would soon be able to donate blood. Chris Fearne spoke outside of the mobile blood donation unit bus in Valletta and said we’d only need to wait six months. A year later, we were told that gay men would be able to donate blood, but there was a twist.
Following reports that the initiative should kick off by last Monday 16th September, Lovin Malta spoke with the hospital to find out if gay men were donating blood yet in Malta, and we can confirm it is finally happening.
As previously confirmed, though, those who wish to donate blood and identify as gay will need to have abstained from sexual contact for 12 months.
The reaction from the gay community was mixed, with the majority in opposition of the blanket ban and citing that heterosexual men are just as promiscuous but are just not openly identified as such.
When we spoke to the Blood Transfusion Unit, we were told that gay men can now donate blood… as long as the rules are adhered to.
Calling the unit, we asked if, as a gay man, we would be able to register as a donor, and the response we got was “as long as our last homosexual encounter was 12 months ago”.
The response, while ambiguous, confirms that gay men can donate blood as we were told last month. But it does confirm that with the information readily available that there are gay men who must be registering already.
The method of procedure is exactly the same as any straight donor; during the initial questionnaire carried out before your first donation can take place, the doctor will ask you to disclose when your last encounter was.
At the time of writing, Lovin Malta has reached out to Deputy Health Minister but has not yet received a response.
It is worth noting that the response we were given was in regards to any “homosexual encounter”, but you don’t need to worry about passing on any gay cooties (because there’s no such thing), so feel free to kiss whoever you wish – just don’t go taking it past second base if you want to help save any lives. Let’s hope instead of cookies to help our blood sugar levels, we’re given free access to Grindr’s premium platform to get us back on the wagon.