The Russian Ministry of Health announced on May 22 that it has removed the ban on blood donations from homosexuals, UK Gay News reports (, 5/23). The ban was put in place in September 2001, labeling homosexuals as a high-risk group for HIV infection. Minister of Health and Social Development Tatyanna Golikova signed the decree to end the ban on April 16.

According to the article, activists from Russian LGBT human rights project have fought for removal of the ban since 2006, claiming that the ban contradicted the Russian Constitution and federal legislation.

“We conducted our campaign against the ban for two years and it brought the results,” says activist Nikolai Alekseev. “Russian legislation finally got rid of the last direct discriminatory provision against homosexual people.”