Any man who has had sex with a man, even once, even 50 years ago, and even if they test HIV-negative, cannot give blood.
by Peter Tatchell (UK context - not different from the US context, btw)
Pressure is mounting on the Department of Health and the National Blood Service to end the blanket lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood. This sweeping prohibition was originally introduced in the early 1980s in response to the advent of the HIV pandemic. Well-intended at the time, it is now increasingly seen as a panic, knee-jerk over-reaction.
The ban states that no blood donation is acceptable from any man who has ever had oral or anal sex with another man – even just once, even with a condom.
Among those prohibited from donating blood are: gay couples in lifelong monogamous relationships, celibate gay and bisexual men, heterosexual men who experimented at school and males who last had gay sex in the 1960s – more than a decade before HIV was first diagnosed. Even if men from these groups take blood tests that show them to not have HIV, they are banned for life from donating blood. This policy is madness.
Read the rest.