All Out, a global LGBT rights movement, put on the streets of São Paulo a truck with hundreds of blood bags and the message “Brazil wastes more than one truck full of blood every day out of pure prejudice “. The action, created by the Africa agency and carried out in partnership with the Truckvan company that made the mobile unit available, is part of an international campaign called #WastedBlood (“wasted blood”) and seeks to draw attention to the fact that Brazil ban gay and bisexual men from being blood donors.
The ban comes from Portaria 2712, dated 11/11/2013, Ministry of Health. Although it does not refer to the sexual orientation of potential donors, the ordinance determines that men who have sexually related to other men in the last 12 months are unable to donate . Interestingly, the regulations also state that hemotherapy services should not manifest prejudice or discrimination regarding the sexual orientation or gender identity of the donor.
“The Ministry of Health argues that the ban is aimed at ensuring the quality of blood collected. However, all blood collected from public and private banks in Brazil must pass tests that allow the identification of viruses such as HIV and HCV, which causes C-type Hepatitis, “says Leandro Ramos, All Out Program Director. “The campaign seeks to show that by not reconsidering this prohibition, Brazil prevents dialogue, reinforces stereotypes and throws out liters of blood that could save lives.”
The donation of blood by gay and bisexual donors is still a topic of debate in many parts of the world. A number of countries in Latin America – including Argentina, Chile and Mexico – have already reviewed their procedures in order to apply the same rules to donors of any sexual orientation.
“If a person does not use drugs, maintains a single sexual partner and uses condoms at all times, they can donate blood. Unless it’s a man who relates to another man. But if all donated blood, whoever it is, goes through a series of tests, why are gay and bisexual men banned from giving? The blood of a gay or bisexual man is as valuable as anyone’s, “says Álvaro Rodrigues, Africa’s vice president of creation.
The campaign also has an online platform, available in three languages, where gay and bisexual men can enter a virtual “donor queue.” The idea is to show the number of new donors and the amount of blood wasted by the ban. The platform is available at www.wastedblood.com. The Campaign manifest movie can be found at: https://youtu.be/nmj19e9xZRo