GLAAD’s “Summer of Giving” Blood Donation Drive Begins – LGBTQ Nation

Author: Elsie Carson-Holt

GLAAD, the top LGBTQ+ media advocacy group, is partnering with America’s Blood Centers, a national organization of community-based, independent blood centers, to undertake a summer-long national blood drive campaign that is LGBTQ+ supportive.

GLAAD describes the campaign as “a national blood drive campaign focused on advocacy and education on the  implementation of new [Food and Drug Administration] guidance that expands blood donor eligibility to more LGBTQ people, especially for gay and bisexual men who, in the past, have faced discrimination around blood donor eligibility.”

“This initiative encourages businesses to host blood drives and all eligible individuals to donate blood in recognition of recent eligibility changes that promote fairness and inclusivity in the donation process while maintaining the safety of the blood supply,” GLAAD said in a press release.

The aforementioned guidelines refer to the FDA’s May 2023 revised blood donation rules, which replaced the previous policy requiring men who have sex with men to abstain from sex for three months before donating blood.

The previous policy had been in place since the 1980s and completely banned any gay or bisexual men from donating blood due to stigma from the AIDS crisis. The practice was considered discriminatory by the LGBTQ+ community because even men who were not at risk for HIV infection were included in the ban.

“The ‘Summer of Giving’ campaign is a unique opportunity for individuals and businesses to donate blood and host blood drives in support of a new era of blood donor eligibility. Together, we can help save lives during a time of critical need for the blood community,” said America’s Blood Centers CEO, Kate Fry.

“Summer of Giving’ campaign is a celebration of the LGBTQ community and decades of work to remove the stigma too many potential donors have endured. Removing discriminatory barriers and following facts and science will ease the critical national blood shortage,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a joint statement with America’s Blood Centers. “LGBTQ donors should be treated the same as any other donor when they walk into their local blood donation center.”

“This campaign sends a long-needed message that LGBTQ people are welcome and can generously contribute to their communities to help save lives.”

Those who wish to donate can find a blood center here.

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Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Elsie Carson-Holt

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