The Federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability decided to uphold a discriminatory rule that bans men from donating blood if they have had sex with another male, even once, since 1977. This decision affects thousands of men who wish to donate blood but have been denied. According to the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 219,000 more pints of blood could be donated if the ban is lifted. In a time where blood shortages cause many problems, such an increase is absolutely necessary. The Federal Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability should lift the ban so that all men who are disease free are able to donate blood. There is no longer any reason why this minority group should not be able to donate. A similar ban in the UK has been lifted, and no problems have ensued. Many U.S. senators, the Red Cross, and America's Blood Centers all support the lifting of the ban. It's time to reverse this ban and allow all healthy men to donate blood.
The newest and most advanced testing can detect the HIV and AIDs virus up to 2 weeks after it has been contracted. Because of this, I am petitioning to change the deferral period from life to a month. This time period allows the tests to detect any tainted blood. This would allow gay men to donate blood as equally as everyone else.