"Gay Blood Drive" calls for change to FDA rules - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

"Gay Blood Drive" calls for change to FDA rules

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Inside the Toledo chapter of the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center, some donors are not allowed.

Instead, today, they're sending in surrogates.

According the Food and Drug Administration, gay men are not allowed to donate blood.

The FDA's website states: "A history of male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk for exposure to and transmission of certain infectious diseases, including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS."

The FDA justifies the ban by explaining the benefits do not outweigh the risk.

According to the FDA: Men who have had sex with other men represent 2% of the population. In 2010, that same group accounted for 61% of all new HIV infections."

The American Red Cross, however, states "… the current lifetime deferral for men who have had sex with other men should be modified.... We have long suggested the change to a one-year MSM deferral."

To push for change, those here and across the country are trying to collect 100,000 signatures to submit to the white house by the end of this month.

The FDA says it would consider a change to its cover-all policy if it could be supported by scientific data.

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