US senators seek to end ban on gay men donating blood

Senator John Kerry urges health officials to rely on 'science of today not the myths of 20 years ago'

US senators seek to end ban on gay men donating blood
11 June 2012

Senator John Kerry wants the US Department of Health to end its policy of banning gay or bisexual men from donating blood.

Kerry and US Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois on Monday (11 June) sent a letter to the department urging it to move forward with a study that looks at ending the ban which has been in place since the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

The policy bans any man who has had sex with a man, even once since 1977, from donating blood for life.

The letter points out that in the 27 years since, ‘We have seen vast advances in blood screening technology, policy changes in other nations, and staunch opposition from the nation’s blood banks who have called the current ban ‘medically and scientifically unwarranted.’

It points out an ‘inconsistent and indefensible’ double standard that bans healthy gay and bisexual men for life yet allows  a man who has had sex with an HIV-positive woman to give blood after waiting only one year. 

Kerry, who has served in the US Senate since 1985 and was the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, said in a statement that he is confident that new studies will result in getting the policy off the books. He said it is time to rely ‘on the science of today not the myths of 20 years ago.’

The letter was co-signed by senators from Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Washington.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

New Zealand Families Commissioner announces she is joining anti-gay political party

MP says Christine Rankin's announcement that she is joining the Conservative Party is a conflict of interest
No thumbnail available

Unconfirmed reports of 30 gays arrested in Dubai

United Arab Emirates LGBT group gets reports that men arrested at hotel party may be gay
No thumbnail available

German minister says gay marriage will lead to two brothers getting married

Incest is legal in less than half of the 23 countries allowing same-sex couples to marry 
No thumbnail available

Priest’s campaign to close legal defence for homophobic killers goes viral

An Australian Catholic priest's petition campaign to end the so-called 'gay panic defense' has received over 100,000 signatures in just a few days
No thumbnail available

Justin Timberlake is back and hopefully in a leotard

To celebrate Sexy Back singer's return to music, GSN has another giggle at his Single Ladies dance with Beyonce
No thumbnail available

TOWIE star Charlie King comes out as gay live on TV

Reality TV star has received an outpour of support from fans
No thumbnail available

Son of Ghana independence leader says gays must be tolerated

The son of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah says that homosexuals are abnormal but should be tolerated and not persecuted by anti-LGBT laws
No thumbnail available

LGBT groups boycott Hong Kong Government equality forum

LGBT rights groups in Hong Kong have decided to boycott a government organized LGBT rights forum after the government included ex-gay groups in it and failed to organize a meeting in over two years
No thumbnail available

Reports of trans gay man beheaded in South Africa

Conflicting reports of transgender gay activist in South Africa reported in African media
No thumbnail available

Pitch Perfect 2 is not homophobic and other reasons we need to stop being so sensitive

The a capella comedy sequel is being attacked for being racist, homophobic and sexist. But is it?