U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, and Tom Harkin, U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley, and U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee – all Democrats – are the sponsoring signatories on a letter signed by 80 Democratic members of Congress calling for the full repeal of the ban on gay men donating blood.

The letter, addressed to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell states they are "steadfastly committed to ending the outdated MSM blood donation policy and moving forward with securing the nation's blood supply in a scientifically sound manner."

In 1983, the federal government instituted a lifetime ban for any man who has had sex with another man—even once—at any time after 1977.

That rule went into effect during the early days of AIDS panic when the disease was largely unknown. Now, technology exists that can detect HIV within a few weeks of infection.