Protest to lift blood donation ban for gay men

July 12, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Opponents of a federal ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men are demonstrating at a St. Paul blood bank.

Organizer Zachary Fincher says about 20 to 40 men will try to donate blood at the Memorial Blood Centers’ St. Paul location Friday. The Minnesota AIDS Project is providing on-site HIV tests.

The goal is to show the U.S. Food and Drug Administration how much donor blood could be added to the nation’s supply if gay and bisexual men could donate. That population faces an indefinite or lifetime deferral on blood donations.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says blood banks have urged the FDA to amend its criteria for blood donations. The FDA says its policy is “based on the documented increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections, such as HIV, associated with male-to-male sex.”

4 Comments on this post.

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  • Jay Vee
    12 July 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    This is not an issue of descrimination but of protecting the safety of the blood supply. Patients who require a blood transfusion are usually critically ill. We will compromise their health even further if we do not provide the safest, most potent product available. The FDA is mandated to mitigate risks to prevent harm to patients. There is scientific evidence to support the ban of gay male blood donors. Gay men shouldn’t take this personal. There are numerous disqualifying criteria for donating blood such as foreign travel, medications, and various medical conditions. None of these people need not take their deferral personally.If we start lifting bans for the sake of hurt feelings we would be in serious trouble. If you were in need of a blood transfusion would you feel comfortable receiving it from a donor who travelled in a dengue fever area, or a donor who has cancer, or in this case a donor who may possibly be HIV positive? I’m personally thankful that the FDA has mitigated this from happening with their stringent guidelines.

  • jorge buesa
    13 July 2013 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Hey don’t let it happen, we all going get sick if we use the blood of the gays. Patients need blood transfusion from clean blood supply not from gays.

    • rensen
      15 July 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      A lot of gay men are not sexually active. You are very misinformed, if not homophobic in a very uneducated stupid way.

  • rensen
    15 July 2013 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    There are a lot of gay men who are in monogamous relationships with their husbands. They don’t carry diseases. This blood ban is also a ban on sperm donations because sperm is blood by relation.
    Indirectly, the blood ban prevents gay men from donating their sperm for research purposes and having children through artificial means.