In its judgment in the case of Geoffrey Léger v Ministre des Affaires sociales, de la Santé et des Droits des femmes, Établissement français du sang (C‑528/13), which was made public today, the Court of Justice of the EU confirms that, given the health risks associated with homosexual behaviour, it is legal for France to maintain a law that excludes men who have had sexual relations with other men from donating blood.
In § 42 of the decision, referring to scientific data submitted by the French government, the Court writes:
“In the first place, as regards the assessment of whether there is a high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases that can be transmitted by blood, account must be taken of the epidemiological situation in France, which has a very specific character, according to the French Government and the Commission, under reference to data supplied by the Institut de veille sanitaire français (French Institute for Public Health Surveillance). It is clear from those data that almost all HIV infections for the period from 2003 to 2008 were due to sexual relations, and that men who have had sexual relations with other men represent the population most affected, corresponding to 48% of new infections. In the same period, while the overall incidence of HIV infection has gone down, in particular as regards heterosexual relations, it has not diminished for men who have had sexual relations with other men. Furthermore, in the same period, they represented the population most affected by HIV infection, with an incidence rate of 1% per annum, which is 200 times greater than that for the heterosexual population in France.”