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Parliamentary questions
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27 July 2015
Joint answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Written questions :E-007104/15 , E-006958/15 , E-007026/15 , E-007052/15 , E-008164/15
Question references: E-006958/2015, E-007026/2015, E-007052/2015, E-007104/2015, E-008164/2015

Directive 2004/33/EC lays down deferral criteria for blood donors including deferrals of persons whose sexual behaviour puts them at risk of acquiring infectious diseases. Most Member States apply either temporary or permanent deferrals of men who have had sex with men (MSM) to protect recipients. This approach is supported by data compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control which shows that in 2013 in the EU 54% of HIV diagnoses in men were transmitted through sex between men. While testing methods have improved in recent years, the risk of under-detection has not been completely removed.

In its recent judgment (Léger) the European Court ruled that the French Decree of 2009 may discriminate against homosexuals on grounds of sexual orientation as per Art. 21(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The ruling underlined that, in line with Art. 52(1), any departure from the principle of non-discrimination needs to be justified and proportionate with the objective of ensuring a high level of health protection. The Court also held that if the objective can be achieved by using more effective techniques for detecting severe diseases, or other less onerous methods than a permanent deferral of the entire MSM group, a permanent deferral would not respect the principle of proportionality. The Court underlined that it is for Member States to carry out the final assessment taking into account scientific and epidemiological knowledge and data.

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