This petition closed 5 months ago
This petition urges Secretary Sebelius to act on behalf of HHS to end the outdated policy so that healthy, willing blood donors are no longer turned away.
This summer, 82 members of Congress signed a letter saying, "Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic more
than 30 years ago, the scientific community's understanding of the virus has
changed dramatically. We have seen vast advances in blood screening technology,
blood donation policy changes in other countries allowing MSM to donate, and
opposition from our nation's blood banks who have called the current ban
'medically and scientifically unwarranted.' Our current policies turn away
healthy, willing donors, even when we face serious blood shortages. Further, the existing lifetime ban continues
to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men, and fosters
an atmosphere that promotes discrimination and discourages individuals from
seeking HIV testing and treatment services."
The current lifetime ban on MSM donating blood was put in
place during the rise of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, but it is no longer scientifically justified with
current blood screening technology. Momentum is
building to end the ban once and for all: On June 18, 2013, the American
Medical Association (AMA) passed a resolution opposing the ban and supporting new donation policies based on an
individual's level of risk. At a July blood drive
hosted by openly gay Mayor Evan Low of Campbell, California, the mayor himself
was turned away from donating blood and called on the FDA to re-evaluate the
ban. And recently a National Gay Blood Drive was held to show how many
potential contributors to the blood supply are lost because of this outdated
and unscientific policy. The blood banking community, including the
American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers, has also long supported a policy change.
While we acknowledge that the policy is now under
review at HHS, we ask that the department accelerate its process. Every day that this unjust policy remains in place is another day of
unnecessary discrimination against gay Americans.
Tell Secretary Sebelius and HHS to take action now!