Why I started this petition:
As a gay man, I do not fit the stereotype of the promiscuous guy obsessed with sex. As a gay man, I am faced with a decision every day of my life to do what feels naturally in my relationship or still keep myself eligible to donate blood. Even though in 2003, the Supreme Court of the United States eliminated the sodomy laws in Lawrance v. Texas, the policy set out by the U.S. F.D.A. still criminalizes an act of love between two consenting adults because of the old fear that gay men are infected with HIV/AIDS. I do not want to have to continue to choose between being able to donate blood over love.
Please visit our website to learn more about the project, data, statistics, and our efforts to change the policy at http://www.weallrequal.com. In short ...
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (source: A):
"Men who have had sex with other men, at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors."
Their main arguments are:
1) "Blood donor testing using current advanced technologies has greatly reduced the risk of HIV transmission but cannot yet detect all infected donors or prevent all transmission by transfusions.”
2) "Detection of HIV infection is particularly challenging when very low levels of virus are present in the blood for example during the so-called "window period". The "window period" is the time between being infected with HIV and the ability of an HIV test to detect HIV in an infected person."
1) Heterosexuals with multiple partners are allowed to donate blood despite their increased risk for transmitting HIV and hepatitis.
2) The United Kingdom, which recently lifted its lifetime ban in September 2011, instead, allows gay men to donate blood provided that they have not had sex with another man for at least one year (source: B). This is four times longer the amount of time necessary for HIV to reach detectable levels after infection (source: C).
The current ban affects all of us, not only gay men. It extends to those who have slept with a bisexual/gay man who has had sex with men, whether they are male or female. This ban has affected sperm donation policies among gay/bisexual men too, and even to organ donations policies.
If the all-out ban on homosexuals/Bisexuals donating blood is reduced to only those who have had a promiscuous sexual contact with another man in the past year, the increased number of potential donors would increase and help the blood pool grow while still keeping the blood supply safe. This petition would allow committed long-term monogamous men to donate blood.
Thus the new pre-screening question should be: “Male donors: Have you had unprotected sexual contact with a new male partner in the past 12 months? (Females: check "I am female.")”
Please sign this petition to urge the FDA to revise their outdated policies, by remove this excessive and unnecessary ban that prevents homosexuals/bisexuals from donating blood.
A) U.S. FDA, cited 2012: Questions about Blood & Blood Donations from Men Who Have Sex with Other Men Questions and Answers. [Available online at http://www.fda.gov/]
B) BBC News, cited 2012: Gay Man Donor Ban to be Lifted. [Avablable online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/]
C) Avert, cited 2012: HIV Testing. [Available online at http://www.avert.org/testing.htm]