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National Gay Blood Drive is Today: Reminder

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Just a reminder, the National Gay Blood Drive is today. Find out HERE where you can participate.

More info HERE and HERE.

For those of you in NYC, GMHC sends us this update:

Today GMHC is providing free, confidential HIV testing in front of the New York Blood Center in partnership with the National Gay Blood Drive, a nationwide demonstration against the lifetime ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently bans any man who had sex with another man (MSM), even once, since 1977 from being allowed to donate blood. For several years, GMHC has been leading advocacy and public education efforts requesting that the FDA lift the ban and screen all potential donors equally for high-risk behavior, regardless of sexual orientation.

"In June, the American Medical Association joined the American Association of Blood Banks, America's Blood Centers, and the Red Cross in calling the lifetime MSM blood ban discriminatory and unnecessary," said Jason Cianciotto, Director of Public Policy at GMHC. "Under the current policy, a heterosexual man who has sex with someone who is known to be HIV-positive is subject to a one-year deferral, while a gay or bisexual man who is HIV-negative and always practices safer sex is banned from donating blood for life. GMHC continues to urge the FDA to follow the lead of nations including France, Spain, and Italy that have adopted deferral policies based on comprehensive assessments, screening all prospective donors, regardless of sexual orientation, for high-risk practices."

As part of our advocacy to lift the ban, GMHC is partnering with the National Gay Blood Drive, a nationwide, peaceful demonstration that invites otherwise eligible gay or bisexual male donors to get tested at a specified donation center in their city and attempt to donate blood. As each donor is rejected, his HIV test result will be collected, compiled, and delivered to the FDA, visually conveying on a national level how much blood the gay community could contribute.

GMHC's mobile HIV testing van will be located in front of the New York Blood Center at 310 East 67th street from 8:00 am-2:15pm.

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Comments

  1. It's good I guess that people will be tested, but this is such a waste. It's such a minor issue to having a "national day" over, particularly when there are more important issues going unaddressed.

    Posted by: Jesse | Jul 12, 2013 1:03:28 PM


  2. ALL LGBT discriminatory issues are important and worth having a national day over to discuss.

    Posted by: Grg | Jul 12, 2013 1:09:59 PM


  3. Jesse- when you have a loved one who needs blood/blood products to survive you might understand why this matters. This isn't just an injustice for gay people, its an injustice for sick people too.

    Posted by: skeptifem | Jul 12, 2013 2:24:33 PM


  4. "It's good I guess that people will be tested, but this is such a waste."

    It isn't a waste to the people who would benefit from a wider supply of readily available and SAFE blood. It isn't waste to the people who are struggling to turn back the clock on institutionalized discrimination that basically says that gay and bisexual men who have sex with men are biological hazards. It isn't a waste to the organizations that are dedicated to this specific issue because there are tons of other groups doing great work focusing on other issues, altogether as a multifaceted attempt to combat discrimination on all fronts. Seems pretty much the opposite of wasteful, if you ask me.

    Posted by: Jesus | Jul 12, 2013 2:27:25 PM


  5. I'm rarely an activist, but I traveled from my home in N. Central Ohio to Ann Arbor, MI to participate in the National Gay Blood Drive. With all the medical advances occurring with AIDS and HIV, it's ridiculously insulting that this ban remains in place. The ban hit home for me when a co-worker was seriously beaten by her husband and lost a great deal of blood. My workplace banded together and donated in order to help her. But, as a gay man, I had to decline. Since I was not out at work, it was a source of great embarrassment personally that I BOTH couldn't help AND had to make up a lame excuse WHY I couldn't. Being a celibate man for over 5 years AND having recent HIV testing, I was far less a risk than any of my co-workers and resented that I wasn't able to help due to an antiquated law from the '80s. That's why, today, I came out for this cause.

    Posted by: BuckeyeWxGuy | Jul 12, 2013 4:02:41 PM


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