Germany to Revise Blood Donor Eligibility Criteria

July 06, 2021

Germany will introduce new donor eligibility criteria that allow more men who have sex with men (MSM) to donate blood, the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) announced recently (in German). Under the revised criteria, MSM in monogamous relationships will face no restrictions when donating blood, while those with a new partner or multiple partners will be eligible to donate 4 months after their last sexual contact with a new partner. Heterosexuals who frequently change partners will also be eligible to donate 4 months after their last sexual contact with a new partner.  

A working group made up of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the Robert Koch Institute and the Blood Working Group recommended the revised criteria following an examination and evaluation of the current medical, scientific and epidemiological data regarding blood donation by MSM. According to Reuters, Germany will introduce the provisions in the next review of the blood donation rules, but a health ministry spokeswoman declined to say when this would take place.