‘We are turning away perfectly healthy donors’

According to the Food and Drug Administration, not all blood is equal.

Even in a time of crisis, amid a global pandemic, gay and bisexual men in America cannot immediately donate blood in the same way their heterosexual counterparts can.

The restriction was born out of the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The FDA implemented, in 1983, a lifetime ban on blood donations from all men who had sex with men after 1977, “to reduce the transmission of HIV by blood and blood products.”

That policy was upheld through 2015, when the FDA acknowledged the improved testing technology of the time and revised the guidelines from a lifetime ban to a 12-month deferral period. Meaning, gay and bisexual men had to abstain from having sex with other men for at least 12 months before being allowed to give blood.

On April 2 of this year, the FDA revised the deferral … Read More