The fact that in the United States gays are still banned, for life, from donating blood shows just how entrenched the fear was during the 1980’s HIV/AIDS panic. However it looks like we’re finally making some progress.
The American Medical Association recently voted against the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on gay men donating blood. Additionally, AMA board member Dr. William Kobler called the lifetime ban “discriminatory” and “not based on sound science.”
“This new policy urges a federal policy change to ensure blood donation bans or deferrals are applied to donors according to their individual level of risk and are not based on sexual orientation alone,” said Dr. Kobler.
There is no other term more fitting that “discriminatory” when describing the ban when, as Think Progress points out, a heterosexual person who has had sexual contact with someone who is HIV-positive, must only wait 12 months before being eligible to donate again.
Because of modern medicine and extensive testing, only 1 in 2 million blood transfusions result in an HIV infection. You are more likely to die from a car accident on your way to work.
With the blood shortage we’re facing, and the outright discrimination, there’s no reason this ban should still exist. Let’s get this done.
Photo via slapupsidethehead.