NEW YORK — Activists in New York have united on an online petition project that demands President Obama urge the Food and Drug Administration to reform its policy on preventing healthy gay men from donating blood, EDGE, an LGBT news outlet, reported.
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Sarah Lawrence College Student Life Committee and the Student Senate created a “We the People” online petition and are trying to get 100,000 signatures within 30 days, which activists said will ensure a response from the White House. At the time of the Edge report, they had 7,000 signatures.
In June 2012, a group of 64 U.S. legislators led by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services encouraging them to move forward with a study of the FDA policy that bans men who’ve had sex even once with another man since 1977 from blood donation.
The GMHC suggests eligibility be allowed for men who’ve only had one sex partner in the past year. In some European countries, both gay and straight men are held to the same criteria. Activists cite scientific advances that allow for HIV detection in blood within days of infection, the Edge article said.