FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday, June 14 is World Blood Donor Day. It’s a day intended increase awareness and promote blood donations.READ MORE: Multi-Car Crash In Trophy Club Causes Shutdown Of Highway 114
It’s on this same day many in the LGBTQ community are also expressing frustration over Food and Drug Administration guidelines that restrict some gay and bisexual men from donating blood.
“I’m angry that I can’t give blood,” said Curtis Smith, a gay man and LGBTQ advocate. “That is one way that I can contribute to my community and contribute to what is happening in Orlando.”
Previous FDA guidelines suggested a life-long ban on any man who has had sex with another man.
In December of 2015 the FDA adjusted their guideline to exclude men who had sex with another man within 12 months.
Despite the change Smith says, it isn’t enough. He wants all the restrictions based on sexual orientation to be lifted.READ MORE: 15-Year-Old Critically Injured In Shooting At Timberview High School Released From The Hospital
“I think it’s the antiquated piece of it,” said Smith. “I think we understand and know all we can about HIV and how it’s spread…and they are just not allowing us and I think it’s part of the discrimination and the stigma that they have.” About what frustrates him the most about the guidelines.
Carter Bloodcare Supervisor Chris Ivey said currently his blood center is transitioning to meet the new guideline.
They still defer gay men who want to donate, but according to him in about 2 more months they will be ready to receive blood from those that meet the new criteria.
“We are in the process of making those changes in order to be in compliance,” said Ivey.
He added their full transition includes printing new material, adjusting policy, and sending new notifications.
Once that transition is complete and donations from eligible gay men are accepted, Ivey believes their blood supply will increase.MORE NEWS: More Than A Dozen Texas Congressmen Complain About Mexico Energy Changes
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