Sweden’s prime minister has called for an end to a ban on gay men donating blood, in what is believed to be a first for a world leader.

In an interview with a Swedish gay magazine, Goran Persson said gay men should be allowed to donate blood or organs, 365Gay.com reported.

Homosexually active men are not permitted to donate blood in Sweden and some other countries including the United States.

Activists in that country have recently targeted the American Red Cross for what they call an outdated and homophobic policy.

The American Red Cross says the ban -“ which applies to any man who has had gay sex since 1977 -“ aims to help keep blood supplies HIV-free.

In Australia, the Red Cross does not accept blood from any man who has had gay sex in the preceding 12 months. The rule also applies to women who have had sex with a bisexual man.

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