Equality California (EQCA), the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization in California, criticized the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent announcement that it will lift the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men to a period of one year since the last sexual contact.
“We’re extremely disappointed with the FDA’s announcement today, which does not represent real reform based on modern science and risk factors,” said Rick Zbur, EQCA executive director. “Instead, this proposed policy change appears to be mere window dressing designed to pacify the LGBT community and other policy critics without implementing any real change. The reality is that this revised policy would continue to discriminate against gay and bisexual men with low risk factors based on their sexual orientation and would continue to unnecessarily prevent countless gay and bisexual men from making life-saving donations to the nation’s blood supply.”
In October, EQCA launched a mobilization campaign to urge the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA to end the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men. EQCA’s campaign called “Every Drop Counts” is mobilizing the LGBT community and its supporters, who have already sent thousands of emails and letters to the FDA calling for an end to the ban. EQCA calls on the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services to take action to end the ban in its entirety.
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