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HHS Opposes Changing Gay Blood Ban

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – expressed disappointment that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability voted against recommending a change to the current policy barring for life any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from giving blood, citing insufficient scientific data to support a change.  The Committee did acknowledge, however, that the current policy is imperfect and recommended additional research to support a policy that would allow low-risk gay and bisexual men to donate.  The Committee’s recommendations will now be considered by the Assistant Secretary for Health.     
 
“We are disappointed that after its meeting, the Advisory Committee chose to preserve a policy that turns away healthy gay and bisexual donors, one we continue to believe is not scientifically justified” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “However, the Committee recognized that the current policy is inadequate and the Department of Health and Human Services must immediately commit its resources to research that will allow our nation to adopt a fair and safe blood donation policy.” 
  
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
 
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