Gay and Bi-Sexual Men Now Able To Become Blood Donor

man donating blood

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently proposed policy revisions which will more reasonably protect blood recipients while respecting would-be donors. Though still not fully grounded in data, the revised policies proposed are a step in the right direction and will help save lives.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) have been prohibited from donating blood in the U.S. for decades. “The original prohibition 40 years ago might have made sense; gay men were the most impacted demographic carrying HIV/AIDS. Testing was limited and prevention was less advanced,” said Rev. Elder Cecilia Egggleston, moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) worldwide.  

Although the demographics of HIV-infected persons are not uniquely MSM, gay and bisexual men have still been prohibited from donating blood.

“We’ll probably never know how many lives have been lost due to blood shortages around the world from this particular discrimination,” explained Eggleston. “Perhaps we don’t need to know. What we do need is change, to make sure that LGBT men are not prohibited from donating blood – which is always tested for HIV prior to transfusion. What we also know is that countless LGBT men want to save lives through blood donation and have been prohibited from doing so. As Christians we are called to serve and to give. Saving lives with blood donation is part of what we do.”

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