April 25, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

CA Attorney General Urges FDA to Eliminate Bias Against Gay and Bisexual Men for Blood Donations

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a multistate coalition in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supporting efforts to maintain an adequate national blood supply to aid the nation’s medical response during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the letter, Attorney General Becerra argues that while the FDA’s guidance easing restrictions on blood donations from the LGBTQ population, specifically gay and bisexual men, is a step in the right direction, the guidance does not go far enough to meet the nation’s needs. The letter advocates moving toward a risk-based, gender neutral screening model and further revising guidance to make it easier for the LGBTQ population to donate blood and plasma in response to the nation’s needs during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“As Americans stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus, the nation is facing a shortage of blood donations, which provide critical medical support to hospitals and their patients,” said Attorney General Becerra. “During this pandemic, it is important to continue to evaluate and modernize blood donation guidance to be inclusive of LGBTQ Americans. A risk-based model not only protects the health and safety of our communities – it’s the right thing to do.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 health crisis, blood drives and donations have dropped significantly. Every day, the United States needs approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells, nearly 7,000 units of platelets, and 10,000 units of plasma to provide blood transfusions for major surgeries, treat patients and victims of trauma, and more. The American Red Cross, which provides about 40 percent of our nation’s blood and blood components, recently reported less than a five-day blood supply on hand. As of mid-March, over 4,000 blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns and closures of schools and workplaces where these drives are usually held, resulting in over 100,000 fewer blood donations.

Recently, the FDA issued revised guidance related to blood donation policies for the LGBTQ community. This guidance reduced the wait period after sexual activity for gay and bisexual men from twelve months to three months. While this reform takes a step toward increasing blood donations made by healthy bisexual and gay men in a time when the nation’s supply of blood and blood products is at risk of collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not go far enough. Data from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law Williams Institute indicates that lifting restrictions completely, as compared to a 12-month waiting period, would produce more than 2 million additional eligible blood donors, including nearly 175,000 likely blood donors, and would produce nearly 300,000 pints of additional donated blood annually.

Attorney General Becerra also argues that moving toward a risk-based model, rather than one based on gender, is not only more appropriate to address the population’s needs, but is also more in line with laws that protect against discrimination. A population-based policy singling out bisexual and gay men threatens the constitutional Equal Protection principles under the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifth Amendment. Over the long term, the FDA should instead look at risk behavior rather than sex for determining who should donate blood.

Related Posts

Luca Guadagnino’s New Film Challengers Serves Up a Sexy Tennis Drama

April 24, 2024

April 24, 2024

Zendaya Stars in a Love Triangle for the Ages in this Must-See Film By Dolores Quintana Academy Award and BAFTA...

Caltrans District & Provides Update on Topanga Canyon Landslide Closure

April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Landslide More Serious than 1940s Slide, Involves Thousands of Rocks Caltrans District 7 has updated the situation related to the...

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Reveals Budget Proposal for Upcoming Year

April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Mayor Bass’s Plan Prioritizes Housing, Safety, and Accountability Mayor Karen Bass unveiled her proposed budget on Monday, outlining her vision...

Cher’s Former Beverly Hills Retreat Hits Market for Nearly $4.1 Million

April 23, 2024

April 23, 2024

Exquisite Artists Retreat Offers Privacy and Elegance A meticulously remodeled artist’s retreat in Beverly Hills, once owned by Cher, is...

West Hollywood Celebrates Lesbian and Queer Women’s Visibility Week

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

City Honors LGBTQ Women with Weeklong Festivities and Events The City of West Hollywood has officially designated April 22, 2024,...

Supreme Court Debates Legality of Ticketing Homeless Individuals, Hears Grants Pass Case

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

Landmark Case Raises Questions of Cruel and Unusual Punishment The Supreme Court engaged in a lengthy debate on Monday, lasting...

Taste of the Nation Returns to Culver City: Culinary Event Devoted to Fighting Childhood Hunger

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

Top Chefs and Tastemakers Join Together May 4th for No Kid Hungry’s Charity Event Taste of the Nation for No...

Extremist’s Arsenal: Felon’s Hate-Fueled Weapons Cache Leads to Federal Time

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

Man Was Part of a Hate Group, Posted Calls for Genocide and Racist Remarks Ryan Scott Bradford, a 35-year-old man...

Outrage Erupts Over Demolition of Iconic Midcentury Craig Ellwood Home in Brentwood

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

Destruction of Zimmerman House Creates Internet Backlash Preservationists lamented last year when another treasure of L.A.’s midcentury modern architecture vanished,...

(Video) Ariana Madix Confirms Something About Her Will Open Soon at LA Times Festival of Books

April 22, 2024

April 22, 2024

Ariana Madix answers the questions that fans want to ask at the Festival of Books as she appears to support...

Kanye West Accused of Punching Prominent Restaurateur at Chateau Marmont

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

Eyewitnesses Contradict Kanye’s Team, Claiming West Instigated Altercation Rapper Kanye West allegedly punched one of two twin brothers, who are...

Comedian Michelle Collins Brings her Big Natural Tour to LA

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

She’s funny, tall, glam and finally long-legging her way across these United States… it’s the Michelle Collins stand-up comedy tour...

Former CBS CEO Admits Role in Disclosure of Confidential Police Information

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

Leslie Moonves Fined for Aiding Misuse of Confidential Data in LAPD Complaint Former CBS CEO Leslie Moonves has acknowledged his...

Los Angeles Police Department Reveals Identity of Victim Found in Stolen U-Haul Truck in West Adams

April 21, 2024

April 21, 2024

Body Found in Rental Vehicle Was Shot in the Head, LAPD Seeks Information Detectives from the West Bureau Homicide Division...

Coming to Venice for 4/20? Visit your original cannabis locals! Specials! Live entertainment @4:20pm  Doors open at 10am!!

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Coming to Venice for 4/20? Visit your original cannabis locals! Specials! Live entertainment @4:20pm Doors open at 10am!! Free goodies!!...