Home Institution

Vanderbilt University

Publication Date

Spring 2022

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


For the first time in a decade, the number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses is higher for heterosexual people compared to gay and bisexual men (Florêncio, 2022). Additionally, in the United States, the American Red Cross has declared a national blood crisis due to the nationwide shortage of donated blood. During this crisis, charged with the new information on HIV diagnosis rates, many advocates for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) community question why discriminatory policy surrounding gay and bisexual men donating still exist around the world. These policies are changing worldwide – several European countries have lifted bans on gay men donating blood, such as the France (however there are still conditions such as requiring a monogamous relationship). However, in the United States, only gay and bisexual men who have been sexually inactive for 90 days are able to donate blood. In Switzerland, they must be sexually inactive for one year. This study aims to explore how policy surrounding blood donation is developed to study how health-related policy in general is formulated. Because there is a discrepancy between the restrictions on blood donation and the true risk of HIV transmission in blood donations used for transfusions, there must be factors beyond pure science influencing policy. This paper observes the following factors as influences in health policy beyond pure science: historical context, technologies, and public perception.


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Gender and Sexuality | Health Policy | Immune System Diseases | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Medical Immunology | Medicine and Health | Public Health | Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies


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