In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, Lance Bass called out a law preventing gay men from donating blood.
He took to Twitter to vent his frustrations over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law: ‘How is it STILL illegal for gays to donate blood??!!
He added: ‘I want to donate and I’m not allowed.’
The law states men who have sex with men must be sexually inactive for at least 12 months to be eligible to donate blood.
This law came into effect in December 2015, but the U.S. previously had a blanket lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.
Bass, married to longterm partner Michael Turchin, is not the only one to call out the discriminatory law.
YouTuber Elijah Daniel also took to Twitter to vent his frustrations over not being able to donate blood.
He tweeted: ‘Really wish I could donate my gay blood.’
LGBTI advocate and writer Shane Crone said: ‘It infuriates me that gay & bisexual men can be turned away from donating blood in Las Vegas because of the @US_FDA‘s discriminatory policy.’
And associate professor Morgan Polikoff said: ‘I’d love to donate blood for Las Vegas, but as a gay man I’m *still* not allowed to do so. In 2017.’
rly wish i could donate my gay blood
— LIL PHAG (@elijahdaniel) October 2, 2017
Advocating for gay and bisexual men to donate blood in America goes back to 2006. The American Red Cross, among other blood donation charities, supported a change to the lifetime ban.
It wasn’t until almost 10 years later that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed the policy by replacing the indefinite deferral with a 1-year deferral.
U.K. reduces blood donation deferral period to three months
Many advocates in America call for a reduced deferral period, much like the U.K. earlier this year.
The U.K. government introduced new guidelines for testing blood, making it easier to detect HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or syphilis.
The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) said: ‘[This is] based on the most up to date scientific evidence and medical advances, which will offer more people the opportunity to donate blood without affecting the safety of the blood supply.’
At the time, Ethan Spibey, founder of FreedomToDonate, told Gay Star News: ‘Today’s announcement from the government marks a world-leading blood donation policy, and we also welcome the news to a long term move towards a truly individualised risk-based policy.’
The changes will come into affect in early 2018.