Twenty-two Attorneys Generals from across the country, including Illinois’ Kwame Raoul, are calling for an end to the FDA’s blood donation policy they say stigmatizes the gay community.
The Attorneys General supports a proposed policy that would use a risk-based model for all donors.
The origins of this policy date back to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, when HIV was spreading rapidly among gay men. At the time, the medical community knew very little about the virus and how it was transmitted. As a result, many people were afraid of contracting HIV through blood transfusions, and the ban on gay men donating blood was seen as a way to prevent the spread of the disease.
Proponents of the policy argue that it is necessary to protect the blood supply and prevent the spread of HIV. However, many people, including LGBT activists and medical professionals, argue that the policy is discriminatory and outdated.
One major issue with the ban is that it effectively stereotypes all gay men as being at high risk for HIV, regardless of their actual behavior. Furthermore, the ban on gay men donating blood is also seen by many as a violation of their human rights. In many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, it is illegal to discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation. The ban on gay men donating blood is seen by many as a clear example of discrimination.
Over time the “Blood ban” policy has been partially lifted or modified to allow gay men who have been celibate for a certain period of time to donate blood. However, many people argue that these changes do not go far enough, and that the ban should be lifted completely.
Interestingly all blood donations are currently and have in the past been tested for a number of infectious diseases – including HIV.
LIFT THE BAN