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HHS Hearing on FDA Ban on Gay Blood Donation Happening Now

The Department of Health and Human Services' Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability is holding hearings today and tomorrow concerning the FDA ban on gay blood donation:

Bloodhearing "A federal health panel is considering changes to a long-standing ban on blood donations by most gay men amid a growing body of evidence that the sharpest restrictions may no longer be necessary. Some lawmakers are calling for a fresh look at the policy, and key gay advocacy groups and organizations representing hemophiliacs and other heavy users of blood products also have narrowed their differences over the need to adjust rules for donors."

The current policy bars any man who has had sex with a man since 1977 from giving blood.

A recent study from the Williams Institute concluded that lifting the ban would boost the nation's blood supply by 219,000 pints.

You can watch the hearing live here.

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  1. I'm AB- and used to donate every 66 days (or whatever the period was). I'd go back to doing it again if they changed the rules.

    Posted by: Guest | Jun 10, 2010 11:55:30 AM

  2. I also used to donate blood like clockwork, but then they banned gay people giving blood. I could have just lied, but figured F'em - they apparently don't want or need my blood. This is a ridiculous, hypocritical policy and was a knee jerk reaction to the early days of the AIDS crisis when no one knew the facts. Now, the facts have been known for years and clearly the current restrictions are simply homophobic. If the ban was lifted I would do my part and start donating blood once again.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 11, 2010 1:31:05 PM

  3. I just read that AMA wants to remove the lifetime gay ban and replace it with a restriction that you can't have had sex within the last 5 years. The Red Cross thinks it would be ok if you haven't had sex within the last year. Good luck with that! So if you're gay you basically can't have a sex life if you want to give blood? That is ridiculous! I could accept them saying safe sex practices, which would be condoms or monogamous relationship - but saying you can't have "gay sex" is unacceptable. Again, the message they are sending is gay sex is dangerous, straight sex is OK.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 11, 2010 1:41:38 PM

  4. Yah, I'm with Mike. I'm O, and I would lie, 'cause I think donating blood is important but I think, F-them! Absolutely absurd that this ban exists, but only one year for straight people.

    Posted by: Jerrold | Jun 11, 2010 5:33:27 PM

  5. Is there a way to find out who exactly these people are who voted on this? Pretty sure I know one of them and probably have a bone to pick with him.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jun 11, 2010 9:47:04 PM

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