Lift Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood After Orlando Shooting

Blood Donation Needle

Target: Robert Califf, Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Goal: End the ban prohibiting men who have had same-sex relations from donating blood after the mass shooting in Orlando.

Gay, bisexual, and pansexual men are still banned from donating blood to federal donor organizations due to the old, homophobic belief that these individuals are much more likely to carry HIV. This is especially insulting and devastating in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida at a gay club that left 50 patrons dead during Pride Month.

For many years, people have been urging the FDA to revise rules saying that men who have been in same-sex relationships can only donate blood if they have been celibate for an entire year–even if they’re in monogamous, long-term relationships. These restrictions are based on outdated notions leftover from the AIDS epidemic that devastated the LGBT community decades ago.

Thanks to better education and safety campaigns, men who have had sex with men are no longer significantly more likely to be carrying HIV than others. Thanks to new technology, it’s now much easier to detect HIV in donated blood. It’s therefore entirely unnecessary to continue this ban, as people have been pointing out again and again for years.

The Orlando shooting has left the LGBT community in the city shaken and mourning, but there’s little they can do–except to donate blood to help their injured community members still in the hospital from the attack. Yet due to pointless regulations, men in this community can’t even do that. Urge the FDA to finally lift the ban against gay, bisexual, and pansexual men donating blood.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner Califf,

In the wake of the Orlando shooting at a popular gay club, it’s time to finally lift all rules and regulations against blood donations by men who have had sex with men. The idea that these men shouldn’t be allowed to donate unless they’ve been celibate for a year due to HIV fears is no longer supported by science, and similar bans have long been lifted in many other nations.

Gay, bisexual, and pansexual men simply want to do something to help their injured friends in Orlando as they grieve for the fallen. It’s profoundly wrong that they can’t even give blood at a time when the blood banks are in dire need because of outdated fears mired in homophobia. Please immediately move to end all regulations against allowing these men to donate blood in the U.S.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Waldszenen

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