PARIS: France's health minister says the country will end its ban on blood donation by gay men, calling it the end "of a taboo and discrimination."
In an interview Wednesday with Le Monde newspaper, Minister Marisol Touraine said beginning in the spring of 2016, no blood donors can be refused based on their sexual orientation.
The policy shift comes after a European Court of Justice ruling in April found that government bans must follow strict conditions. Many governments had imposed lifetime bans on gay men because they are more likely than other groups to have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Touraine said lifting the blood donation ban will proceed in stages, to allow the government to study whether and how the risks change.