eNews Park Forest
Original Article: bit.ly/ZXPihm
Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in California, today launched a mobilization campaign to urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration to end the discriminatory lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men. EQCA’s campaign called “Every Drop Counts” will mobilize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its allies, including elected officials and community leaders, to advocate for the end of the ban through direct, public advocacy.
Established in 1983 during a time of great fear and little knowledge about HIV or AIDS, the current FDA donor-deferral policy prohibits blood donation by men who have had sex with another man even one time since 1977. In the 31 years since the policy was instituted, the medical community’s knowledge of HIV and its ability to test for it has improved dramatically, but the policy has not been updated to reflect those changes.
“The FDA blood ban is discrimination, pure and simple,” said Rick Zbur, EQCA executive director. “FDA blood donor eligibility policies should be based on modern scientific research and findings rather than archaic assumptions and fears. Ending this discriminatory ban is a priority for our community and we call on our members, supporters and allies around the country to join EQCA in demanding that the FDA end this ban.”
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