“Too Gay To Give”: Are Blood Donation Restrictions Outdated?

As of late, there have been numerous blood drives taking place on IU’s campus – attempting to peak students’ interest in donating blood. The Red Cross buses have been parked outside of popular buildings on campus – with signs littered about campus and chalk on the sidewalks leading towards their location – in hopes of attracting new donors.

Yet this emergence of visibility has not just peaked the students’ interest in donating blood, it has helped raise awareness surrounding the discriminatory restrictions that the FDA has placed on gay mens‘ ability to donate.

Apparently there was a restriction made in 1983 (in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1977) banning homosexual men from donating blood, due to the fear that these individuals would further aid the spreading of this virus. I was rather taken back by this information; and honestly I was rather embarrassed, because I was unaware that such restrictions even existed.

Anyways, onto my point… In a recent edition of our paper our entire ‘opinion’ spread was donated to this controversy surrounding this issue (which is where the title of this post came from, the art work and headline that accompanied these pieces were rather intriguing)  and I wanted to share the articles with all of you.

Image courtesy to IDSnews.com

Image courtesy to IDSnews.com

One article touches on the negative connotation that these restrictions continue to place on gay men; while the other article focuses on the irony of this situation (as in, the nation desires to increase the blood supply, yet they are only hurting  their cause by creating these restrictions).

If you have the time, check out these journalists’ points of view. I thought it was pretty cool to run this information in our paper, because I’m sure many students are in the dark about this issue (just as I was). Knowledge is contagious, so what better way to spread awareness than by sticking it in an opinion column?

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About Madeline Haller

Madeline Haller

Madeline Haller is an Assistant Editor for MensHealth.com. Haller received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University, with a second concentration in gender studies. When she's not writing for MSP/MH, you can find her running, enjoying a cup of coffee, or searching for the perfect shade of red lipstick.