Editor, Daily Nexus,
Would you accept blood or bone marrow from a healthy male? Would your decision change if you knew that the person is gay, bisexual or queer-identified?
Blood drives nationwide are forced to institute a U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated discrimination policy. From the text of the questionnaire that all blood donors must fill out, “If you are a male and you have had sex with another male since 1977,” you are banned from giving blood ever.
Blood drives, which institute a discriminatory practice, contradict the University of California Nondiscrimination Policy Statement. The statement reads: “The University is committed to a policy against legally impermissible, arbitrary or unreasonable discriminatory practices, including discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation or status as a Vietnam-era or specialized disabled veteran.”
The policy is ignorant, outdated, discriminatory and ludicrous in light of dangerously low levels of blood at blood banks. This is particularly true in light of screening for HIV using the ELISA test, which captures 99.5 percent of cases of blood containing HIV, on top of other HIV tests.
Associated Students Community Affairs Board is holding a blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Graduate Student Lounge, on the second floor of the Associated Students Building. While holding a blood drive is a noble goal and supporting CAB’s efforts to increase the Tri-County Blood Bank’s stock of blood is great, there is no excuse for blanket discrimination against an entire population. Stop by the blood drive, donate blood if you are able to, and sign a petition stating your opposition of the government’s discrimination policy.