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Newburgh LGBTQ center: Help solve blood shortage by letting gay, bisexual men donate

The American Red Cross says it's facing a national blood crisis, forcing some hospitals to put off surgeries and even organ transplants. Newburgh LGBTQ Center co-founder Maria Ramirez says there's a simple solution: let gay and bisexual men donate blood.

News 12 Staff

Jan 19, 2022, 10:47 PM

Updated 914 days ago

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The American Red Cross says it's facing a national blood crisis, forcing some hospitals to put off surgeries and even organ transplants. Newburgh LGBTQ Center co-founder Maria Ramirez says there's a simple solution: let gay and bisexual men donate blood.
The Food and Drug Administration currently requires men who have sex with men to be celibate three months before donating because testing for early disease isn't 100% effective.
The wait used to be a year from 2015 until 2020. Before that, there was a total ban since the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
The Red Cross says sexual orientation shouldn't determine whether you can donate so it's working on an FDA-funded study to figure out whether a questionnaire based on your individual risk could work just as well to keep HIV out.
Advocacy group GLAAD says it estimates 360,000 more men would donate, helping save more than a million people.
Ramirez says she hopes the Red Cross and others will push right away for a change more aligned with modern science so the people she advocates for can just do their part.


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