For Immediate Release
Task Force: End the Archaic FDA Blood Ban Now
WASHINGTON - At a press conference today, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
called for an end to the Food and Drug Administration's lifetime ban on
blood donations from any man who has had sex with another man since
At its June 10-11 meeting, the Health and Human Services Advisory
Committee on Blood Safety and Availability will review the FDA's
decades-long ban. It is estimated that 219,000 more pints of blood could
be available annually if the blanket ban is lifted.
The Task Force and nearly 50 other groups have signed a joint
letter to the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability
saying "it is our opinion that this lifetime deferral for men who have
sex with men (MSM) from donating blood is outdated and discriminatory
and we strongly urge the Advisory Committee to recommend a revision of
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"The lifting of the lifetime ban on blood donations from all men who
have sex with men will remove a federally sanctioned stigma and send a
strong, clear message that this systemic, blatant and blanket
discrimination will not be tolerated. The most critical issue is to
ensure that the blood supply is safe and abundant, and this means
maximizing the potential donor pool and making sure all donors are
screened appropriately and assessed based on actual behavioral risk
independent of their sexual orientation. It is long past time to end
this archaic, knee-jerk practice and replace it with a fair, humane and
sensible blood donor policy. Lives will be saved when this ban ends."
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