California County Opposes Ban on Gay Blood Donors

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com March 01 2008 1:00 AM ET

The Santa Clara,
Calif., County board of supervisors voted Tuesday
to oppose the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on
blood donations from gay men and called for federal
lobbyists to concentrate on overturning the ban,
according to a story in The [San Jose]
Mercury News. Board members said they made
the symbolic decision, proposed by gay supervisor Ken
Yeager, because blood banks can screen for HIV
infection more effectively now than when the ban was
imposed, in 1983. The supervisors did not vote to ban
blood drives on county property, to avoid depleting area
hospitals of blood supplies, but they said they might
revisit the idea in the future.

The FDA says the
ban exists because gay men are at a much higher risk of
carrying HIV than the general population.

San Jose State
University president Don Kassing recently stopped blood
drives on campus, arguing they violated the school’s
antidiscrimination regulations. (The Advocate)