gay blood donation ban
The FDA's proposed policy change for blood donations by gay and bisexual men--from lifetime deferral to eligibility after a year of sexual abstinence--still makes no sense and will continue to stigmatize gay men.
The FDA's newly proposed policy -- which has been expected since December -- says men will have to wait at least one year
Gay and bisexual men want to contribute to America's blood stocks and have a vital role to play in keeping America healthy. We should demand that the FDA change its policy and keep stereotypes out of blood donation sites.
If men who have sex with men must be celibate for a year, then everyone else should be held to that standard too. If they can determine risk level for heterosexuals on a case-by-case basis, then they should do it for men who have sex with men as well. Assess the risk, test the blood, and treat everyone the same. It's really that simple.
By suggesting that gay and bisexual men are at risk for HIV and straight people aren't, the FDA's guidelines misinform the public. To the extent that it contributes to ignorance of the risks associated with certain types of heterosexual sex, the FDA's policy, even in its revised form, actually presents a public-health concern.
On 9/11, after the towers fell to ash, I headed toward the New York Blood Center. I faced one of the most acute moral quandaries I've yet to confront: Do I lie about my identity to help my fellow brothers and sisters, or do I stay true to myself and know that the Red Cross would, by law, dispose of my blood?
The FDA's policy of banning "men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977" from donating blood does not accurately identify the behaviors that put one at risk for HIV. A policy that incorrectly identifies high-risk groups instead of high-risk behaviors is neither effective nor just.
A portion of an organ donation from a deceased gay Iowa teen has been rejected due to his sexual orientation. The American
Our 9-year-old son had come home excited that his school was having a blood drive. If we donated blood, we'd be rewarded with tickets to Legoland. As two dads, we suddenly found ourselves thrust into an unexpected conversation with our son about the FDA ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
On July 11 a National Gay Blood Drive will be held in the hope of raising awareness around this issue. Gay and bisexual men are urged to bring friends who can donate to blood banks to show just how much more potentially could be given -- up to 219,000 pints each year, according to a 2010 report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
The FDA's selective ban on giving blood imparts the disparaging idea that any gay man -- even if he practices safe sex within a monogamous relationship -- should be treated as if he has a disease that remains sadly bound up with perceptions of promiscuity, drug use, shunning, and shame.
This week, filmmaker Ryan James Yezak has organized the first-ever "national gay blood drive." It is Yezak's hope that once the FDA recognizes how much men who have sex with men could contribute to the national blood supply, they will have ammunition to lift the 30-year ban.
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The filmmaker behind the forthcoming documentary "Second Class Citizens" is offering another sneak peek at the project with
Though the ban was originally put into place in 1983 in response to the AIDS epidemic, it has since become standard practice