What are Denmark’s rules for giving blood?

What are Denmark’s rules for giving blood?
Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
What should you know if you live in Denmark and would like to be a blood donor?

Denmark announced this week that it is to change a decades-old rule and allow men who have had same-sex relationships to give blood, albeit only if they have not had sex for four months prior to donating.

READ ALSO: Denmark changes 1988 health legislation to allow gay men to give blood

Several other rules further limit who can give blood in Denmark, meanwhile, including some applicable if you have lived abroad.

What are the country’s rules determining who may and who may not be a blood donor?

You are not allowed to give blood if you:

  • Think you may be infected with HIV or hepatitis

Rules applying to the last four months

You are not allowed to give blood if you:

  • Have had sex within the last four months with someone who has been exposed to infection through:
  • sex with another person who is HIV-positive or carries hepatitis
  • sexual intercourse with a person from a geographical area where HIV or hepatitis B and C are ‘prevalent’ among the population. This includes all of Asia, all of Africa and South and Central America.
  • Have had a tattoo or a piercing

Lifetime rules

You are not allowed to give blood if you:

  • Are a man and have had had sexual contact with another man – (note: this rule will change in March this year).
  • Have worked as a sex worker
  • Have been an intravenous drug user
  • Share or have shared a needle with others
  • Have received treatment for haemophilia prior to 1988

Travel restrictions

People who have lived or spent time abroad may also be prevented from giving blood in Denmark. This is particularly relevant to people from the United Kingdom.

If you have spent 12 months or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996, you may not give blood due to the theoretical possibility of transmitting Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

The Danish Blood Bank has a travel quarantine list in which certain travel destinations result in an obligatory pause from giving blood upon return, ranging from 4 weeks to 6 months. A list of the relevant locations can be found here (in Danish).

People who have lived for 6 months or more during the first 5 years of life in areas considered at 'red' or high risk for disease transmission (check location using this map) must wait 3 years to give blood following their most recent stay or visit to a 'red' area.

Additional rules:

To be allowed to give blood, the following general health requirements apply. You must be:

  • Between 17 and 60 years old
  • In good health
  • At least 50 kilograms in weight.

Sources:, DR

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