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
December 23, 2015 8:23PM (UTC)
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(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.

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“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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