The Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed on Jan. 16 a resolution urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to repeal a long-standing ban on gay men from donating blood.
In the U.S., any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is banned for life from donating blood. The federal policy was enacted in the 1985, when the risk of AIDS from transfusion was first recognized.
Last December Mexico became the first country in the Western Hemisphere to allow gays to donate blood. Argentina could also lift the ban this year, and Canada could modify the ban and instead allow gay men who haven’t had sex with another man for the last five years to donate blood.
An online petition has been started on the White House’s website, urging the government to take action and repeal the gay blood ban. It’s gathered 52 signatures as of publication. It needs 99,948 by Feb. 14 for the White House to issue an official response on the issue.
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