Target: Acting Commissioner for the Federal Drug Administration, Stephen Ostroff
Goal: Praise FDA’s plan to remove lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.
For 31 years, gay and bisexual men could not donate blood due to concerns about passing on HIV. Recent petitions on ForceChange have demanded for the immediate removal of this policy due to its discriminatory nature. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is now making plans to remove the lifetime ban, although some in the LGBT community do not think the the new policy is significant enough to remove the stigma on gay and bisexual people. Sign this petition and tell Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff that you support the new policy, but implore the administration to allow all men to donate blood regardless of their sexual activity.
Previously, men who had engaged in same-sex intercourse could not donate blood due to their sexual orientation. Current research states that all humans can contract HIV and AIDS, but the FDA is discriminating against gay, bisexual, and pansexual individuals due to stereotypes. Even medical groups such as the American Medical Association state that this policy is discriminatory and not supported by science. The administration is making plans to remove the lifetime ban and replace it with a policy that allows men who’ve had same-sex intercourse to donate blood if they have been celibate for the past year.
The United States’ new policy would be in line with policies from Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It is troubling that other countries discriminate against these men on a topic that science has debunked as a myth. The scientific community stated that there is very little chance for a donor to receive blood that has HIV, especially since each blood sample is screened for diseases. Those in the LGBT community believe that the new policy is a step forward towards providing equal treatment, but some are still concerned that it will continue to stigmatize gay, bisexual and pansexual persons.
Sign this petition to praise the FDA for lifting the lifetime ban while encouraging the organization to remove the policy requiring that non-heterosexual men be celibate for a year to donate blood.
Dear Stephen Ostroff,
The FDA recently announced that it would remove the lifetime ban on gay, bisexual and pansexual men from donating blood. Since the 1950’s, men have had to answere whether or not they had sex with a man. If they answered yes, they would be barred from donating blood. This outdated practice of making sure that HIV and AIDS wasn’t given to the population is discriminatory and not supported by science. I am grateful that the administration is removing this ban, however the newest policy still strikes a nerve in the LGBT community.
Some are concerned that this policy will continue to stigmatize men who have had same-sex relationships. I share this concern. While I applaud the FDA for lifting the lifetime ban, I implore you not to require gay, bisexual or pansexual men to be celibate for a year to donate blood. This new policy is still discriminatory, and I urge you to change it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jeremy L. Grisham