Opinion: Eliminating the FDA’s blood donation ban on men who have sex with men would help ease the U.S. shortage

For the first time ever, the American Red Cross this week declared a national blood shortage crisis and hospitals are putting out calls for donors — yet the Food and Drug Administration continues to ban men who have sex with men from donating blood.

It is long past time for the FDA to eliminate this ban. No other group is similarly banned from donating blood. Prohibiting only men who have sex with men from donating blood is the definition of homophobic, because it presumes that this sexual orientation is unsafe. That is provably false: Studies report no risk to the blood supply in other countries that do not ban donations from this group of men.

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