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National Gay Blood Drive Calls For Change At Blood Centers

Last updated on Saturday, July 13, 2013

(UNDATED) - It seems there is always a critical need for blood donations. Yet, some willing donors are turned away.

The Food and Drug Administration has prohibited gay men from giving blood since 1977. At the time of the ban, no test existed to check blood for HIV, which can be transmitted through blood transfusions.

Today- gay men are being asked to visit blood centers nationwide in the first National Gay Blood Drive to protest what they call an unfair, outdated policy.

Shannon Jordan with the Indiana Blood Center--says they are 'not' in support of the protest. She says national organizers of the event asked the Indiana Blood Center several weeks ago about setting up a mobile HIV unit to do onsite testing, but liability issues made that impossible.

The FDA has said that it would be willing to consider changing its policy only if scientific data shows it could do so and maintain a safe blood supply.

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