Repeal the ban for men who have had sex with other men to donate blood
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Currently there are laws in place to stop men who have had sex with other men from donating blood. In December of 2015, FDA guidance amended the life time deferral to a 12-month deferral, however, this does not fix the larger problem at hand. To have any sort of deferral around men having sex with other men is to further a stigma surrounding the LGBTQ+ community that negatively impacts their lives.
For example, this paints men having sex with other men as individuals incapable of making responsible decisions. The logistical reason for this deferral is to stop the blood transmission of HIV/AIDS. However, to have this deferral only apply to men having sex with other men is to say that they, as a collective, make risky sexual decisions.
Furthermore, this enforces the ideology that HIV/AIDS is a "gay disease", when, in fact, it can impact anyone. During the early 90s infection rates increased the fastest in women and children. The idea that it only affects gay men caused many lives to be lost, so we should be eradicating any policy that reinforces this false ideology.
Blood that is being donated already has to be thoroughly tested before it is given to a person in need. Therefore, removing this deferral will not endanger anyone and at this point it only serves as a testament to our homophobic past.
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