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Kerry Calls for Gay Blood Ban Repeal

Kerry Calls for Gay Blood Ban Repeal

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Sen. John Kerry renewed his effort to get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revise its current policy barring all gay men from donating blood.

"It's past time that we examine scientifically and medically sound alternatives to the blanket ban on gay men giving blood," Kerry said at the FDA's Blood Products Advisory Committee hearing on Monday. "The science regarding HIV/AIDS contraction has advanced dramatically in the last three decades, and our understanding of what constitutes high risk behavior has grown far beyond the ignorant idea that sexual orientation is an indicator in itself. I trust that, as we move forward in this process, we will be guided by science rather than the past in determining the best screening policies to help make our blood supply even safer for all who depend on it."

The current policy bars any man from donating blood if they've had sex with another man since 1977. The same policy allows heterosexual men and women who have had sexual contact with an HIV-positive partner to give blood after only a one-year waiting period.

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