Of course this is from San Francisco!
Congressman Mike Honda Urges FDA to Overturn Ban on Gay Blood Donors
By Michelle Roberts and NBC Bay Area Staff | Monday, Jul 7, 2014 | Updated 4:59 PM PDT
A Bay Area congressman is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban preventing gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
Mike Honda (D-San Jose) started an online petition to try to get the FDA to overturn the ban. He says the ban is outdated, discriminatory and based on decades-old fears that have been discounted by science.
“The FDA should end the ban and revise its policy and focus on behavior and individual risk, and not on sexual orientation,” Honda said Monday.
After holding a news conference Monday afternoon, Honda was joined by other leaders – including Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and County Supervisor Dave Cortese – for a blood drive outside the county administration building on Hedding Street.
More at the link.
Several months ago, when I was being considered as a donor for a bone marrow transplant, they sent me a very detailed questionnaire, wanting to know if I had had sex with another male within the past five years, or, if I had been female, the question was whether I had had sex with any male who had had sex with another male within the last five years. It’s serious business, because, unlike blood donation, if you are donating for a bone marrow transplant, you are the closest match for a specific recipient, and without that transplant, he will die. But I’d have been automatically excluded if I had been homosexual. I did have to go through some blood work, which included an HIV test, and everything came back negative.
It turned out that there was a closer match, so I didn’t have to donate anyway, for which I was glad: a bone marrow donation isn’t a pleasant thing.1 But the obvious question is: why should we tinker with reasonable safety precautions, put in place for a damned good reason, just to be politically correct?
And the obvious answer is: we shouldn’t.
- I’d still have done it, but I sure wasn’t looking forward to it! ↩