The FDA is instituting a new discriminatory ban on gay men – but on no one else, in a failed attempt to "protect" the nation's blood supply.
For decades, gay men in America have been prohibited from donating blood. Not just gay men, but any man who has ever – ever – had sex with another man. That's a pretty paranoid and wholly unscientific attempt to "protect" the nation's blood supply, instituted at the beginning of the AIDS crisis.
Now, after more than a year of discussions, testimony from experts, a substantial letter from 80 Democratic members of Congress, and other deliberations by experts, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced it will drop the "ever" part of its ban on gay men donating blood, but replace it with a one-year prohibition on men who have had sex with men.
In other words, if you're a man and have had sex with another man (MSM) in the past year, you're still banned from donating blood.
So, if you're a gay man in a monogamous relationship with your legally-married husband, you are ineligible to donate blood.
If you're a heterosexual man who is legally married to a woman but has random and anonymous sexual encounters every week with women, step right up, you're 100% eligible to donate blood.
The FDA wrongly claims its new discriminatory policy is "backed by sound science and continues to protect our blood supply."
FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's news site, examined the FDA's proposed policy of a five-year ban, a one-year, ban, and dropping the ban all together, concluding that "a complete removal of the FDA restrictions on MSM has the potential to help save the lives of 1.8 million people annually."
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