CREATED Aug. 6, 2013
GREEN BAY, WI- Senator Tammy Baldwin pushing to end a ban on gay blood donors that's been in place for decades. The LGBT community is speaking-out saying the ban is discriminator, but the FDA says it's about protecting public health.
Since the emergence of HIV and AIDS in the 1980's a ban was put into place because gay men had a higher rate of infection. More than thirty years later the gay community says there have been improvements in screening and the ban should be lifted.
"With today's ability to test the blood supply, there's no reason to do anything other than base our decisions on science," says Baldwin.
The FDA in response released this statement:
"FDA's deferral policy is based on the documented increased risk of certain transfusion transmissible infections, such as HIV, associated with male-to-male sex and is not based on any judgment concerning the donor's sexual orientation."
The American Red Cross does not make any decisions on this matter, but since 2006 they have also been pushing to lift the ban.