Now that same sex marriage has become acceptable, and “don’t ask, don’t tell” has been eliminated among other victories, the Gay Rights community is seeking to further their cause by convincing the medical community that it is time to end the nation-wide ban on blood donations by homosexual and bisexual men.
The ban has been in place since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in 1983.
Now, to quote Bob Dylan, the “times, they are a changin’,” and more than 80 members of Congress called upon the Department of Health and Human Services to lift the lifetime ban, calling it “an outdated measure that perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes about gay men.” The policy was also opposed by the American Medical Association, which voted against it in June.
“Not only is it discriminatory, but it is not based on sound science,” stated AMA board member William Kobler.
The FDA, which controls the US blood supply, however, said it will only “ease the ban if supported by scientific data shows that the change in policy would not present significant and preventable risks to blood recipients.”
A compromise could also be reached between those for and against the change by following the leads of Italy and Spain where a blanket ban against gay blood donations has been replaced with ones that ban all donations by anyone (gay or straight) who have recently engaged in unsafe sex, while permitting donations from gays and bisexuals whose sexual behavior is deemed to pose no risk and whose blood has tested safe.