Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Gay and bisexual men are banned from giving blood in the United States. Unlike many other countries, the United States continues this discriminatory policy that stigmatizes gay and bisexual men and bars them from giving the gift of life. Reforming the MSM policy to only screen for high risk sexual practices instead of banning gay and bisexual men will allow more people to donate blood. Find out more at Let Gays Give.
Since 2006, the American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) have recommended changes to this policy, and “strongly support the use of rational, scientifically-based deferral periods that are applied fairly and consistently among blood donors who engage in similar risk activities.” Over 8 countries have reformed this policy including England, Sweden and Argentina. Furthermore, Spain, Italy and France have repealed this ban altogether and implemented eligibility criteria and screening practices based on objective risk factors such as the if the donor has engaged in unprotected sex within the last six months or the number of sexual partners the donor has had in the last six months. Following a 2010 report by the Gay Men's Health Crisis on Blood Donation Reform, we would recommend the creation of similar eligibility requirements.
There are healthy, committed and monogamous gay couples who deserve the right to give the gift of life. It is time that the Food and Drug Administration reform this discriminatory ban. As signatories of this petition we call on you to ease our blood centers and increase the number of eligible healthy people that can donate blood by repealing the current MSM blood ban and introducing new eligibility requirements that screen for high risk sexual practices.