FDA Proposes to Lift Ban on Blood Donations From Gay and Bisexual Men
February 13, 2015
After a more than 30-year ban, gay and bisexual guys may finally be able to donate blood. During the start of the HIV/AIDS crisis, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned gay and bisexual men from donating blood under the assumption and fear that they would spread HIV through tainted blood donations. The ban seems unnecessary since anyone—regardless of sexual orientation—can be HIV positive and tests for HIV in donated blood are standard.
The FDA is recommending partially lifting the homophobic ban after decades of backlash from LGBTQ advocacy groups, saying the ban is outdated and discriminatory. In an upcoming policy change, the FDA will now allow gay and bisexual men who have not had sex with another man for at least one year to donate blood. If the ban is partially repealed, it will help the national blood shortage by allowing millions of Americans the opportunity to donate blood.
This is a step in the right direction, but in my opinion, a full repeal is the best way to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to save lives through blood donation. I would love to see no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in who can donate blood.