RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - When he tried to donate blood, administrator Rodrigo Benício Costa saw the initiative become an embarrassment.

"They also asked if I was a homosexual. When I said yes, I didn't have to answer the questionnaire anymore. I was discarded from that answer on", he says.

An ordinance of the Ministry of Health and a resolution of the National Health Regulatory Agency banned donations from homosexual men with an active sexual life. The understanding was that this raised the risk of blood contagion from sexually transmitted diseases.

"We asked the donor if he had had . . .

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