In the aftermath of the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, in which 49 people were murdered, almost all of them members of the LGBT community, a vestige of the era of AIDS paranoia and hysteria was resurrected. Many gay and bisexual men were summarily banned from giving blood, despite the desperate need for donations to help the 53 hospitalized survivors. FDA policy prohibits men who have had sex with men in the last year from donating blood. A community already grieving and feeling under attack now found itself unable to participate in the most immediate way of helping its members heal,
writes Kali Holoway.
This is outdated thinking, steeped in homophobia and baseless fear; a relic of the early 1980s, when reliable testing for AIDS took an extensive period of time. … HIV/AIDS is now detectable in blood as little as nine days after exposure. What’s more, all blood is screened after donation, regardless of who gave it. That heterosexual blood donors, regardless of the number of partners they have had and whether or not they have practiced safe sex, face no donation ban highlights the glaring and underlying unfairness of the FDA’s position.
Exactly. Let’s try to end this offensive discrimination against gay men and men who have sex with men, for once and for all.