FCB Health Continues to Fight Discriminatory Blood Donation Policies

Outraged at being denied the chance to donate blood for the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, a coalition is calling for an end to discriminatory policies related to AIDS transmission. The Blood Equality coalition includes folks from FCB Health as well as medical experts, scientists and members of the LGBT community. They gathered in front of the steps of New York's City Hall on Tuesday morning to protest blood donor policies that require gay or bisexual men to abstain from sex for a year if they plan to donate blood. Earlier this year, FCB Health launched the Blood Equality campaign to help end this type of discrimination.

The mission of the Medical Advisory Board, which is part of the Blood Equality coaltion, is to bring together experts on blood donation policies, HIV and blood safety to discuss and figure out alternatives to the current policies.

“We are looking for better ways to look at screenings, ways that are less discriminatory,” said Dr. Joseph Barbagallo, medical strategist at FCB Health. “We don’t know the answers at present, but we just feel like there has got to be a better way.”

This event was planned weeks prior to the massacre at the nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed and 53 wounded, the mass shooting emphasizes the need for a change in policy, organizers said.

According to CNN, as hundreds of people lined up to donate blood for the victims of the terrorist and hate attack, many gay and bisexual men were turned away because they didn't meet the celibacy requirement.

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