Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reverse The Ban on Gay Blood Donors

It's 2010 folks and science has lots of good ways to test our blood supply.  The ban on gay men donating blood is archaic and needs to be reversed.  Want more reasons?

  • Newer tests have shortened the window period in which HIV is undetectable to between 9 and 11 days. A permanent, lifetime ban is outdated and no longer makes sense.
  • The U.S. blood supply is frequently at critically low levels. Less than 5% of all eligible donors give, while donation recipients include mothers delivering babies, trauma victims, cancer patients, transplant patients and others. The respected Williams Institute estimates that lifting the ban would result in an estimated 130,150 additional donors who are likely to donate 219,000 additional pints of blood each year, while shortening deferral to one year would result in 53,269 additional men who are likely to donate 89,716 pints each year.
  • The ban is a form of discrimination by unfairly targeting men who have sex with men, or effectively the gay and bisexual community. A permanent, blanket ban is instituted on any male who has had sex with another male even once since 1977 and without regard for his partner's HIV status nor for frequency, safe sex practices, or duration since. Yet if one has sex with an opposite-sex partner who is knowingly HIV-positive, he or she can give again in a year. This is discrimination and it is wrong.
  • Other countries like Australia, Japan, Sweden and Russia have either revised or completely lifted the deferral period, while Italy, Spain and France screen donors based on risk rather than a blanket ban on a community.
  • The American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers, American Association of Blood Banks, American Medical Association, and a coalition of nearly fifty other organizations all support a revision of the ban.
You can use these reasons in combination with your own personal ones, or the form letter in the extended entry. Please submit a public comment via, and urge that the ban be revised to improve the nation's health, meet sound scientific practices, and eliminate discrimination. Thanks for helping improve the nation's health and eliminating another form of discrimination.

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