Sign the Petition to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services

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171 signed
329 more needed

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This petition urges Secretary Sebelius to act on behalf of HHS to end the outdated policy so that healthy, willing blood donors are no longer turned away.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National Gay Blood Drive was held to show how many potential contributors to the blood supply are lost because of this outdated and unscientific policy.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!

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