Statement on the FDA’s Lifting of the Blood Ban for Gay and Bisexual Men
Advocates for Youth welcomes the news that after decades of baseless and harmful discrimination against gay and bisexual men, the FDA has lifted its ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men. The previous requirement of an arbitrary period of celibacy presumes that gay men had a higher risk of contaminating the blood supply, regardless of testing history, relationship status, or any other lifestyle factors. It was an outdated, stigmatizing policy that makes no sense in the world we live in now. Public health organizations including the AMA support lifting the blood ban. With an ongoing blood shortage, blood donations are needed.
We welcome positive change from the FDA. Young people need and want change that works for the benefit of public health to ensure safety and equity, and they will not tolerate stigma written into government policies.