New FDA Policy on Gay and Bisexual Men’s Blood Donations is Harmful and Discriminatory
WASHINGTON, DC, December 23, 2014 ―Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new policy that would allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood only if they haven’t had sex or sexual contact with other men in a year.
“The FDA’s updated policy on gay and bisexual men’s blood donations continues to discriminate as it stops short of fully lifting an antiquated and scientifically unsound ban established in the height of the HIV and AIDS epidemic—when not enough was known about the virus and epidemic. Since the 1980s, modern science has developed tremendously and important safeguards are now in place that accurately screen blood for HIV and AIDS. Yet to this day millions of gay and bisexual men are still denied the opportunity to donate blood to save another person’s life.
“Despite the FDA’s effort to bring their policy in line with science, the ban continues to single out sexually active gay and bisexual men and further fuels negative LGBTQ stereotypes and stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. We urge the FDA to rethink its decision and completely lift the discriminatory ban that prohibits gay and bisexual men from donating life-saving blood.
“Additionally, we call for an aligning with current science and stopping further discrimination by lifting lifetime bans on survival sex workers and people who inject drugs. Under this ban many transgender people, of which 11 percent report engaging in survival sex work, are prohibited from donating blood.”
–Rev. Darlene Nipper, National LGBTQ Task Force Deputy Executive Director.
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Media and Public Relations Director