National Gay Blood Drive pressures FDA to end donation ban

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new campaign started Friday that's designed to put pressure on the FDA to overturn its ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood.

Organizers of the National Gay Blood Drive say it's time the FDA changes its policy, which they say marginalizes, stigmatizes, and stereotypes healthy people across the country.

They set up 60 blood drives in 50 states, including one outside San Francisco City Hall.

Supervisor Scott Wiener says the ban assumes gay men have HIV.

"This is a relic of the 1980s when we were at the height of HIV/AIDS epidemic and so much has changed since then. We need to move away from reactionary, discriminatory policy," he said.

The FDA says gay and bisexual men as a group are at increased risk for HIV which can be transmitted by transfusion.

The current ban has been in place since 1983.
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