Should Gay Men Remain Banned From Giving Blood? [VIDEO/POLL]
Since the 1980s, gay men have been prohibited from donating blood in the United States. Now, 64 members of Congress say that ban may not be needed.
In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, blood was not tested to the same extent it is now. There were cases -- notably tennis star Arthur Ashe and Elizabeth Glaser, who became an advocate for pediatric AIDS research after two of her children were born with the disease -- where HIV-contaminated blood was used unknowingly in operations, exposing those who received the blood to the HIV virus. Since the '80s, all donated blood is tested for HIV and other diseases.
CNN recently broadcast this discussion on changing the policy:
The current blood donation numbers are frightening. Only 20 percent of Americans donate blood. But 95 percent of us will need a blood transfusion at least once in our lifetimes. Do you think it's time to lift the ban on non-HIV-infected gay men donating blood?