According to the American Red Cross, the “[s]ummer is one of the most difficult times of the year for the Red Cross to recruit enough blood donors to meet the needs of patients.”A solution is presented in a current petition, which proposes that men who have slept with men are an untapped source of willing blood donors.
Since 1983, FDA regulations have forbidden this. While initially the policy was a response to the 1980s AIDS scare, the FDA seemingly continues to fear that the inclusion of these men would contaminate the donor blood pool. But FDA policies allow donations to be accepted from donors who have had sex with an HIV-positive partner, provided that both one year has passed since, and that the sex was heterosexual sex. The petition proposes that the FDA follow the example of other countries by enacting a one-year deferral for the policy regarding men who have slept with men. This is four times longer than necessary for HIV to reach detectable levels after infection.
Since all blood is tested thoroughly upon donation, this will eliminate any appreciable risk of blood supply contamination. Please sign the petition to lift the ban on gay men donating blood at Change.Org titled “U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Allow gay men to donate blood.”
Class of 2010