While gay and bisexual men who have had sex with other men are not allowed to donate blood, some in Ohio are finding alternative ways to help others in need.
Friends and family are scheduled to donate blood to the Red Cross on behalf of men who want to give blood but have been banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of their sexual history. The FDA bars any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 from giving blood. The event, titled the Brothers in Blood drive in Columbus, Ohio, will take place Oct. 13, the Columbus Dispatchreports.
The Red Cross, which is administering the event, has been openly against the ban, and has worked with Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to change the policy. Gay men in the area who would like to donate blood once the ban is lifted are encouraged to contact the American Red Cross of Central Ohio. The organization will reach out to the donors for a blood drive once the ban is lifted.