Take part in the first annual gay blood drive

Since 
1977, the 
U.S. 
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has 
banned gay
 and 
bisexual 
men 
from
 donating 
blood.
 On
 Friday, July
12th, 2013, the
 first‐ever 
National Gay Blood Drive
 
will
 take 
place 
to 
bring 
attention 
to 
the 
ban
 and 
increase 
pressure 
on 
the 
FDA to
 lift 
it.

This 
peaceful 
demonstration 
is
 being
 organized by 
Ryan 
James
 Yezak, the creator of a forthcoming 
feature‐length 
documentary 
about
 discrimination 
based
 on 
sexual 
orientation, Second Class Citizens.
 


Yezak isn't the only one who thinks the 
ban 
is 
outdated. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently spoke out against the ban, stating that it is "discriminatory," and "not based on sound science."

As 
a 
result of this ban, countless
 otherwise 
eligible
 gay 
and
 bisexual
 men 
are 
unable 
to 
contribute 
to 
the 
nation’s
 blood 
supply 
and 
help
 save 
lives
–
especially 
a 
time 
when 
blood
shortages
 are 
increasingly
 common.

The
 drive 
will 
take
 place 
nationally 
on Friday, July 12th, and
 will 
consist 
of 
eligible 
gay 
and
 bisexual
 male
 donors, 
 referred 
to
 as
 MSM
 donors, which in the medical community refers to "men who have sex with men."

Gay donors will get 
tested at 
a mobile HIV-testing unit outside of specified 
donation 
centers across the country and then
 attempt
 to 
donate 
their
 blood. 
As
 each
donor 
is 
rejected, 
their
 test
result
 will 
be 
collected, 
compiled, 
and 
delivered
 to 
the 
FDA in order to visually 
convey how
 much
 blood 
the
 gay
 community 
could 
contribute
 to
 the 
blood
 supply 
should 
they 
lift 
their
 current policy.

It 
is
 anticipated
 that 
1,000
 rejected
 MSM
 donors 
will 
be 
exceeded and pertinent to
 note 
that 
on‐site
 mobile 
rapid
 HIV
 testing 
will 
be 
provided at each
 location
 for
 participants
 to
 confirm
 their statuses
 before 
attempting 
to 
donate.

 


”This
 is 
not 
a 
protest, this 
is 
not
 meant
 to 
be 
political.
This
 is
 a
 demonstration 
of 
peace, of
 love, of 
being
 a 
human
 being,” Yezak explained.

The Red Cross issued a statement about the National Gay Blood drive acknowledging that the policies should be revised, but acknowledging that while the ban was in place, gay and bisexual men would be turned away. The U.S. suggest modification calls for a one-year MSM deferral. On June 33, 2013, Health Canada Changed its MSM blood donor deferral period from a lifetime deferral to five years. However, with any ban, active MSMs will remain ineligible to donate blood."

"The FDA's ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men is outdated and discriminatory. GLAAD joins the Red Cross, the American Medical Association, and so many others in calling for an end to the ban," stated Wilson Cruz, National Spokesperson for GLAAD.

It 
goes 
without 
saying 
that the FDA
 needs 
to 
revise
 its 
policy. Help 
shed
 a 
nation wide 
light 
on this 
ban by being 
a 
part of 
the
 defining 
civil rights
 movement 
of
 our 
time 
and 
help 
end
discrimination 
based
 on
 sexual
 orientation
 by
 participating 
in 
this 
peaceful
 demonstration. 


TAKE ACTION: If you are eligible for the National Gay Blood Drive, 
please 
visit 
www.gayblooddrive.com for more information 
or
 email
 info@gayblooddrive.com with any questions.



 

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