Conversation Nation: Lift Ban On Gays Giving Blood?
A student at Dean College in Franklin says he just wanted to donate a pint of blood. He went to a school-sponsored Red Cross drive and filled out the forms with no problems until he reached one question. It asked if he had ever had sex with a man. Being gay, he answered yes. That’s when he was told by a nurse that his donation wouldn’t be needed.
The student didn’t know about a lifetime ban on gay men giving blood, enforced by the FDA since 1987. Now that he is aware of it, he thinks it’s discriminatory.
He’s not the only one who doesn’t agree with the rule. The Red Cross, though they are mandated to follow the ban, has been lobbying the FDA to modify the guidelines. They claim scientific data does not support a lifetime ban, they favor a one-year waiting period for gay men.
The student doesn’t understand why only gay men are singled out. He says he’s tested regularly for HIV and is clean and every donor’s blood is tested before it goes into a blood bank.