FDA lifts decades-long ban on gay men donating blood — but only if they haven't had sex for a year

The deferral period is still discriminatory against men who have sex with other men

By Peter Cooper

Published December 23, 2015 3:23PM (EST)

  (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

The Food and Drug Administration recently lifted a 32-year-old, lifetime ban on blood donation for men who have had sex with other men — but gay men still have to wait for a 12-month "deferral" period that prohibits them from giving blood for a year after their last same-sex contact.

While the lifting of the ban is somewhat of a win for gay rights the new policy is still discriminatory, activists say.

“While many gay and bisexual men will be eligible to donate their blood and help save lives under this 12-month deferral, countless more will continue to be banned solely on the basis of their sexual orientation and without medical or scientific reasoning,” the National Gay Blood Drive said in a statement.

Watch our video to find out more.


Peter Cooper

Peter Cooper is a video producer for Salon. He's a creator infused with many passions and can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

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Blood Donation Fda Gay Men Original Video