Monday, March 20, 2006

Give A Little Bit: The Food and Drug Administration is finally noticing that not all homosexual men have dropped dead in the past 30 years as anticipated.

So the agency is reconsidering its longtime practice of banning any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from ever donating blood. The year 1977 is significant of course because that's when AIDS was invented.

Blood banks are always hurting for blood donations, yet they are forced to discriminate against healthy men. The American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and America's Blood Centers say improved screening methods should be able to prevent HIV and other viruses from reaching recipients of blood transfusions.

But even if no improvements were found, 30 years is a ridiculously long time for a safety buffer. Irrational fear doesn't help anybody if lifesaving blood is prevented from reaching someone who needs it.


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