MEN WHO HAVE SEX WITH MEN
In Denmark, men who have sex with men may not donate sperm. This is decided by the National Board for Patient Safety (formerly the National Board of Health). It is important for us at European Sperm Bank to emphasize that it is not an active decision on our part. On the contrary, we work to get these rules changed, as the law is unclear and complex.
In paragraph 3.1.2 of the instructions from National Board for Patient Safety no.9356 of 26/05/2015 on “quality and safety for the donation and testing of tissues and cells” the Board lists several criteria for exclusion of sperm donors. Herein a group of “indicators of increased risk of communicable disease, etc.” and the first indicator is “a man who has had sex with another man.”
The National Board for Patient Safety of this indicator states the following:
“Men who have sex with men (MSM) are included on this list as it is an indicator of increased risk and risk behaviour related to sexually transmitted diseases. MSM are at significantly greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases than the general population. Evidence suggests that there is a stable or increased sexual risk-taking among MSM.
Thus, MSM forms a high proportion of those who transmit HIV in Denmark. Figures from Statens Serum Institut show that the prevalence of HIV among MSM was 3 out of 50,000 last year compared with 9 out of 2 million in heterosexual men.
There can be made an extended documented risk assessment to accept an MSM as a donor. It is not necessarily sufficient for the conducted tests on the specific donor of HIV or hepatitis B and C since there is an increased risk of a number of sexually transmitted diseases, not all of which can be tested for, which should be included in a risk assessment of the donor.
It should generally not be possible to accept an MSM donor who had sex with other men within a 12 month period prior to donation unless the donor for a specific risk assessment can be used.”
We are very aware of the problem and we hope for a change. At European Sperm Bank we hope to be able to welcome donors regardless of sexual preference. In the last section, there is an opening for men who have sex with other men to be accepted as donors. However, it is unclear what the extended documented risk assessment entails.
Despite numerous requests to the National Board for Patient Safety, it has not been possible to get a clarification as to what this assessment should involve. Therefore, we have currently not found a method that accomplishes the Board’s requirements.