FDA Lifting Of Ban On Gay Blood Donors Doesn't Go Far Enough, Activists Say
The Food and Drug Administration FDA is proposing ending the lifetime ban on gay blood donors. But even if such is the case, there would still be restrictions. And that disappoints activists who’ve been pushing for change.
Under the new rules recommended by the FDA, gay and bisexual men wouldn’t be prohibited outright from giving blood, as is the case now. Rather, if they swore they hadn’t had sex with another man in the previous year, they would be allowed to donate blood.
Randall Russell directs Lifelong, a Seattle-based organization fighting to end AIDS. He says the policy is still unfairly discriminatory.
“If I am a female who might have had five sexual partners in the last 12 months, I’m not ruled out from giving blood, and that person may actually be a higher risk than a person who is monogamously in a relationship with another man,” Russell said.
And, he points out, all blood is already tested for infectious diseases such as HIV before it’s used.
Russell does call the move by the FDA to allow some gay men to donate blood "a step in the right direction."