China lifts ban on lesbians giving blood
July 6, 2012 -- Updated 1141 GMT (1941 HKT)
As of July 1, lesbians in China are allowed to donate blood after a 1998 ban was amended.
- A 1998 ban has been amended in China to allow lesbian women to donate blood
- The previous blood donor regulations included lesbians and homosexual men as at-risk groups for AIDS
- Men who are sexually active with other men are still banned from donating blood
- Change in regulation signals increased understanding of AIDS by the Chinese government, activists say
Hong Kong (CNN) -- The Chinese Ministry of Health has lifted a 14-year-old ban on lesbians donating blood in effect as of July 1.
The ban still applies to men who are sexually active with other men, but celibate homosexuals are permitted to give blood, according to the Ministry of Health's website.
The original ban, enacted in 1998, barred homosexuals of both genders from donating blood out of a fear of spreading HIV and AIDS.
'Mama Wu' unlikely hero for homosexuals in China
Xu Bin, a prominent lesbian rights activist in China, told the Global Times she applauded the amendment and what it means for lesbians in China.
"It is also about our dignity and the elimination of blood donation discrimination," she was quoted as saying.
Home HIV test closer to reality
Xu, who goes by her nickname Xian, first tried to donate blood in 2008 after an earthquake in Sichuan Province, when she learned of the ban and began campaigning against it.
FDA to discuss HIV drug for prevention
"It's scientific that the policy doesn't mention homosexual identity but only fences off some who have certain sex behaviors, because AIDS is not caused by one's homosexual identity but improper sexual behavior," Xian told the Global Times.
AIDS first made an appearance in China in the 1980s when an Argentinean tourist died from the disease while on holiday in the country. Like other areas of the world, the epidemic was shrouded in confusion which was exacerbated in China by official denials that it existed there.
However, more recently, organizations such as UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on HIV and AIDS, have commended the Chinese government on advancements in the attitude on AIDS.
In June, UNAIDS reported that its executive director had visited the country and praised the government's "major investments in China's AIDS response and a dramatic scale-up of HIV prevention, treatment and care programs."
The new regulations also include several other changes, including raising the age limit to 60, increasing the amount donated from 200 ml to 400 ml and shortening the required period of time between donations.
Campaigners push for marriage equality worldwide
CNN's Corinna Liu in Hong Kong and Shao Tian in Beijing contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0513 GMT (1313 HKT)
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0908 GMT (1708 HKT)
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0452 GMT (1252 HKT)
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1942 GMT (0342 HKT)
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0712 GMT (1512 HKT)
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
July 4, 2014 -- Updated 0631 GMT (1431 HKT)
26-year-old Ji Cheng is the first rider from China to compete for competitive cycling's highest honor.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0656 GMT (1456 HKT)
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Along a winding Chinese mountain road dotted with inns and restaurants is Jinan Orphanage, a place of refuge and site for troubled parents to dump unwanted children.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0836 GMT (1636 HKT)
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout invites Isaac Mao, Han Dongfang, and James Miles to discuss the rise of civil society in China and social media's crucial role.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0334 GMT (1134 HKT)
Chen Guangbiao wants rich people to give more to charity and he'll do anything to get their attention, including buying lunch for poor New Yorkers.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Architects are planning to build the future world's tallest towers in China. They're going to come in pretty colors.
Today's five most popular stories