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Perceptions and practices of the Brazilian LGBT+ population toward blood donation

Published:September 10, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.transci.2022.103578

      Abstract

      In May 2020, after years of demands by activists and in light of COVID-19-related blood shortages, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court abolished the rules that demanded a 12-month celibacy period for men who have sex with men (MSM) to donate blood. The objective of this open web survey was to assess the perceptions and practices regarding blood donation and blood donation rules among members of the Brazilian LGBT+ community. The data collection was conducted between October 2019 and March 2020, before the changes in the rules for blood donation and before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. A total of 1639 adult individuals, self-declared as LGBT+ , participated (54.3 % MSM, 2.2 non-MSM, 43.5 % women). As expected, most of the study participants did not agree with the 12-month deferral period for MSM donate blood. Blood donation was already practiced by MSM, even before the abolition of the restrictions on donation. Among MSM and women, 38.7 % and 41.0 % have already donated blood, respectively. A significant number of participants reported lying in screening interviews at blood banks in order to be able to donate, and many said they knew people who were MSM and disobeyed the rules for donation, even though they knew them. Therefore, the practice of blood donation was already present among these people, even before the restriction policy change, confirming the need for revised rules for blood donation.

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