Did you know gay and bisexual men, and women who have sex with them are barred from donating blood? Gay and bisexual men who've been active since 1977 are barred permanently, and their female lovers must wait a year after their last “exposure.”
The FDA calls it risk prevention. They say that gay men are 60 times more likely to test positive for HIV/AIDS. And so, to avoid the possibility of someone receiving infected blood, they banned gay men, and anyone who has sex with them, from donating.
Queer Union, New York University's biggest LGBT group, says there's another way—the FDA just isn't interested because of a “heterosexist discourse from the HIV/AIDS crisis that designated the queer body as the diseased, the contaminated, and the unwanted body.”
"My understanding is they're screening the blood anyway. I know so many people in [the LGBT] community that would donate if they could,” says Doug Miller, who had fake blood drawn, and then disposed of it in a garbage can at an organized blood drive/protest in the wake of a blood shortage in New York due to the snow storms. He and many other LGBT supporters gathered to give blood if they were allowed, and to simulate throwing their blood away if they weren't.
Keith Hudson, manager of regional communications at the New York Blood Center, said, "We have a great relationship with NYU, so when they approached us to do this blood drive and this demonstration, we were happy to come down. We're just happy to be here so that people can donate blood and [Queer Union] can tell people about the ban."