The Constitutional Court has recognized a provision restricting man, having sexual relations with another man, from donating blood for 10 years, as unconstitutional.
The lawsuit to lift the ban was filed by LGBT rights activists Gocha Gabodze and Levan Berianidze.
The ban on donating blood for a man who has had a sexual relationship with another man was introduced by the Ministry of labor, health and social affairs.
The claimants considered that the disputed provision was discriminatory, as in all other cases, donation right was restricted for 12 months from risky sexual behavior.
The position of defendants was that above mentioned sexual behavior puts a man at a higher risk of having blood infections. Consequently, it was justified to limit this right for a longer period.
The Constitutional Court based its ruling on the decision made in 2014, stating that blood tests may not completely exclude the risk of HIV infection of recipients as the virus cannot be detected during the incubation period (the so-called window period). However, in a new ruling, the court pointed out that 10 years was much longer than the “window period” and that the disputed norm restricted the rights of some citizens for a much longer period.
The invalidity of the disputed norm was postponed until March 31, 2020, due to safety of the blood donation process.