U.S. blood supply dips to ‘emergency’ level
The Red Cross has collected 50,000 fewer donations than expected for the month of June.
Anyone who can donate blood, should. Blood transfusions save lives and it’s very simple for people to donate.
Now, if only gay men would be allowed to donate, the amount of blood the Red Cross has could increase quite a bit.
I wish I could donate blood to a place that doesn’t care if my boyfriend sucks dick, but people need help, so I guess I just have to deal. Goddammit it.
As a reminder, the Red Cross is not the arbiter of who can and cannot donate blood. The Red Cross and the remainder of the blood banking industry is not self-regulating. These limitations and requirements are from the Food & Drug Administration and are essentially federal law.
The Red Cross has repeatedly lobbied to change the HIV-related guidelines to be more reflective of current medical knowledge about HIV-transmitting behaviors and risk groups, and risk periods, and the FDA has refused to modernize their standards, while simultaneously further narrowing the donor pool due to CJD (aka mad cow disease) concerns with people who lived/spent time in Europe.
The Red Cross, as the largest blood banking organization in the US, bears the brunt of too much ignorance, people assuming (and erroneously repeating) the idea that they’re running some sort of homophobic campaign to keep men who have sexual contact with other men out of the blood donor pool, and nothing could be further from the truth. People need to lay the responsibility for this issue where it belongs, which is the FDA.
Meanwhile, every single blood donation can save up to three lives, when that donation is separated into its component parts. O negative blood is always especially needed. If you’re eligible to donate, please do so. The FDA rules may be offensive, but they should not be a reason why you should boycott donating. Not having blood when it’s needed can cost people’s lives.