Dem Senators: Lift Ban on Gay Blood Donors

John Kerry leads group urging FDA to end 'discriminatory' policy
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 12:08 PM CST
Blood donation.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – John Kerry and 17 other Senate Democrats are calling on the FDA to end the 27-year-old ban on blood donations by gay men. The policy barring any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 dates to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. It “was once considered medically justified,” Kerry says, but now is "simply outdated and needs to end, just as last year we ended the travel ban.”

Kerry elaborated on his position in an editorial in Bay Windows this week. “Times have clearly changed,” he writes. What was once caution “is today simply discrimination that needs to end.” The FDA allows a person who has had heterosexual sex with an HIV-positive partner to donate after a 1-year waiting period. “But a man who has had protected sex with a monogamous male partner, even one time 33 years ago, is barred for life from donating blood.”

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