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
March 10, 2014 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
In China, home to most of the 239 people on board, relatives of passengers were increasingly frustrated Monday as the agonizing wait for news continued.
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
Just call it the Fake Leap Forward: Hong Kongers dressed in Mao suits to protest increasing mainland Chinese influence in their city.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0719 GMT (1519 HKT)
For some local Hong Kongers, the local economy is being geared to the needs of cashed-up Chinese day-trippers, rather than locals.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Vladimir Putin is seeking China's support in Russia's standoff with Western powers over Ukraine.
March 8, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
Despite the country's improving economy, women in China still face rampant discrimination.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0824 GMT (1624 HKT)
What's the story with WeChat, the messaging app taking China by storm?
As China's annual parliamentary meetings kick off, Beijing gauges progress on key economic reforms outlined last year.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 0501 GMT (1301 HKT)
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks to CNN about his time in China.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 0449 GMT (1249 HKT)
Limited investment options in China means real estate has been a popular choice for consumers looking to expand their portfolios.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0140 GMT (0940 HKT)
It's sexy, sophisticated, skintight, and started as a Chinese feminist statement. Here's the story of China's "cheongsam"
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Linkedin, the networking site for professionals, has done what few other foreign online services have achieved -- it has successfully set up its China operations.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT)
With its tradition of free speech, Hong Kongers pride themselves on their strong opinions -- but now local journalists say they are being shut up.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
Beijingers are once again choking as smog levels hit "heavy or even worse" levels in the capital and other cities across the country.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
China has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to call off a meeting at the White House with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Far from being censored, the U.S. political drama 'House of Cards' is widely available in China -- and surprisingly popular.
Today's five most popular stories