According to a report by Lusa news agency, one case of this is that of Bruno Gomes d’Almeida, who experienced discrimination on Saturday, 23 January, when, together with several hundred people, he went to the fixed donation post of the Portuguese Institute for Blood and Transplantation in Lisbon after the Portuguese Institute for Blood and Transplantation (IPST) made an appeal for blood donations.
Bruno faced three hours of waiting in a queue, plus another hour in the screening phase until his turn came, where he was confronted with several questions, namely whether he had ever been involved with a working sex partner or whether he had had several partners in the last year.
On the third question, Bruno felt it was right to correct the wording of the question and to assume that he had a partner, since he was bothered by the fact that the person who was screening him assumed that because he was a man he had sex with female partners and not with male partners.
“Then he automatically replied, ‘So you can’t donate blood,’” he told Lusa, adding that the person then said that “men who have sex with men can’t donate blood”.
The IPST responded to this allegation by stating to Lusa is that the institute “does not question the sexual orientation of its potential donors” and that “each and every citizen [can] apply to donate blood, without any differences of gender or sexual orientation”.
“However, donation will always be conditioned by a number of situations that need to be assessed during the medical examination prior to donation, such as the diseases the candidate refers to, travel, infections, behaviour and lifestyles, with an increased risk of transmission of serious infectious diseases”, reads the response to Lusa.
To Lusa, ILGA (Intervenção Lésbica, Gay, Bissexual, Trans e Intersexo) Portugal revealed that whenever there is an appeal to donate blood, there are increasing reports of gay men who feel discriminated against because they have been refused the possibility of making a donation.