Fact check on blood donation ban: Number of sexual partners has already been queried in the past

Vienna, May 21, 2022 | The new blood donation ordinance provides the following. In the future, a “3-3-3 rule” will apply to everyone: anyone who has had sex with three different partners within the last three months will be excluded from donating blood for three months – regardless of whether they are man, woman, straight, gay or trans This is what the regulation provides for, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said at a press conference on Friday. This should enable equal access to blood donation regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

However, the regulation quickly caused a stir on the social media platform “Twitter”. Numerous users complained about “how to control it”, or that they do not want to reveal their sex life. Some users even announced that they would stop donating blood on condition that they did so after the sexual contact.

It has been like this in the past

The fact is, however, that such a – even stricter – regulation has already applied in the past, including for heterosexual people. The questionnaire (see below) had already asked about sexual behavior before the blood was taken. Sexual intercourse between two women and heterosexual intercourse with more than three people within twelve months was previously considered a reason for exclusion from donating blood for twelve months. The new shortening of the exclusion period from blood donation and the period of sexual contact even represents a relaxation of the regulation. The 12-3-12 rule became the 3-3-3 rule. For men who have had sex with men (MSM), even one sexual intercourse counted as a 12-month exclusion reason. Now MSM also fall under the 3-3-3 rule.

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Screenshot: Red Cross blood donation questionnaire

The number of sexual partners is also listed as a reason for exclusion on the Red Cross website under “Risk behaviour”.

Screenshot: Red Cross – reasons for exclusion

Who controls this?

As in the past, the information in the blood donation questionnaire is based on truthful answers from the donors. A corresponding declaration must be signed during the questionnaire. Before the canned food is administered, it is also tested for various diseases and health-related blood values ​​(e.g. HIV).

You can find all current reasons for exclusion from donating blood here.