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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Howard Brown takes part in gay blood drive
by Matt Simonette
2014-07-14

This article shared 6959 times since Mon Jul 14, 2014
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Howard Brown Health Center, 4025 N. Sheridan Rd., took part in the National Gay Blood Drive, a nationwide event calling attention to the FDA ban on gay men donating blood, on July 11.

Gay or bisexual men came to HBHC along with a surrogate who donated blood on their behalf, and both participants then signed a petition asking the Obama administration to lift the ban, which has been in place since the 1980s.

"What's important is the screening, not someone's sexual orientation," Michelle Wetzel, HBHC's senior vice president of Policy, Strategy and Business Development, told DNAInfo. "The ban comes from a time when there was a lot of fear of the unknown, and it's just not the case anymore so to continue to have this ban is just blatant discrimination by the FDA."

Other drives took place in several dozen cities on the same day, in an effort to bring awareness to the discriminatory nature of the ban and ongoing shortages of blood supplies.

In August 2013, 85 members of Congress, among them U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and lesbian Senator Tammy Baldwin, wrote a letter to former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking that the Obama Administration lift the ban.

"Our current policies turn away healthy, willing donors, even when we face serious blood shortages. Further, the existing lifetime ban continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men, and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination and discourages individuals from seeking HIV testing and treatment services," the letter said.


This article shared 6959 times since Mon Jul 14, 2014
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