F.D.A. Alters Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood

The L.G.B.T. community has had mixed reactions Tuesday from the F.D.A.’s announcement to alter the ban on gay men donating blood.

The new regulations would allow gay men who have been celibate for 12 months or more to donate, as opposed to regulations put in place in 1983 to ban gay men from donating for life. While many L.G.B.T. activists say this is a step in the right direction, others say the new regulations still discriminate against gay men.

Jeff White-Perkins, President of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center, says, “At the same time, I see that as being far more dangerous to the cause all together that we have to go back into the closet even for five minutes just to give some blood. It’s against the point.”

Another argument on behalf of gay men is that all blood is tested for H.I.V. and other infections or diseases. An estimated additional two million men would be able to donate nationwide if the ban was removed all together.

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