There is inequality in the United States. There is never enough safe blood supply in virtually every American community. A significant portion of the population is prohibited from donating blood. They are eliminated based on outdated FDA restrictions. In 1985, the FDA segregated the homosexual population from donating blood because the HIV virus was almost entirely limited to that population. This regulation was enforced during the height of the AIDS epidemic. At the time, homosexual men were the primary population of those infected with HIV. In 2012, that is not the case. Though only 4% of the men in the United States are openly homosexual, that 4% has been isolated and permanently banned from donating blood. The HIV virus has spread to the heterosexual population. Yet, heterosexuals are still permitted to donate blood. Even women who have engaged in sexual activity with an infected male are only banned from donating for 1 year. Separate is not equal.
The American Red Cross state on their website that all blood donations are tested for Hepatitis (B and C), HIV (I/II), West Nile, among a multitude of other blood caring diseases. If the testing is accurate for heterosexual blood then it is accurate for homosexual blood. Many of homosexual men practice safe sex, annual blood testing, and are perfectly suitable donors. If a transfusion recipient wishes to refuse homosexual blood, that is their prerogative. Refusing homosexual donors, who create the possibility to save lives, is immoral and unethical. According to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, allowing homosexual men to donate blood would provide 219,000 additional pints annually. 20 pints of blood can save 60 lives. Why refuse 60 dying Americans of their lives?
The HIV virus exists throughout all communities, cities, and countries. The virus exists in all genders and races. Fortunately, laboratory testing identifies the infected blood. Why exclude an entire population of potential blood donors for research collected in the 1970s? By including homosexual donations, we can increase the supply of healthy blood and save thousands of lives.
To combat the FDA regulation, Luke Meierdiercks and Zachary Russell have teamed up and started an online petition. Spread through word of mouth and social media, the protest has been received with enthusiasm; more and more people want to become involved and are branching out to their contacts to spread the word. In one week, the petition has gathered almost 400 signatures. Any help with the petition is greatly appreciated. Our goal is to end inequality, discrimination, and the ban on gay blood.