Petition statement to be delivered to President Donald Trump, FDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Allow LGBT community to save lives in their communities by donating blood!

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Allow LGBT community to save lives in their communities by donating blood!

To be delivered to President Donald Trump, FDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Petition Statement

Dear Mr President, Members of Congress, and the FDA:

We, the undersigned, ask you to examine and put an end to the FDA's long standing history of discriminating and denying LGBT Americans from donating blood and helping save their fellow Americans.

This policy was created at the beginning of a tragic epidemic to protect the blood supply, as there were insufficient tests to detect the various antibodies that are created when HIV is present in blood.

That paradigm shifted years ago due to medical advances that have been made over the last three decades. Presently there are 14 tests, 11 of which test for infectious diseases and 3 of which certainly will detect any HIV antibodies present, that all blood donations receive. Our blood supply currently undergoes enough tests to ensure that the entire blood supply is safe for every patient in America.

Thirty years later, HIV is a very different disease and we know now that it does not discriminate against you, only humans do. It doesn't care if you are gay or straight, black or white, short or tall, or male or female. In fact, decades of statistics have proven that HIV amongst same gender partners has been steadily on the decline for many years. However it is unfortunately on the rise in the heterosexual and elderly populations, who are the bulk of the 5% of Americans who can donate and actually do. If this trend continues it could potentially further decrease the number of potential donors thus shrinking the already strained and limited blood supply.

We the LGBT community and supporters wish to thank our long standing allies in Congress that have fought the good fight alongside us and President Obama for standing up for Marriage Equality and for doing the right thing again by not defending DOMA; thereby allowing the Courts to properly sort out and end the institutionalized discrimination that it truly is. These however, are amazing steps in the right direction towards equality and give our community so many rights we were previously denied. But we the undersigned, would like the right to donate blood and give the gift of life back to our fellow Americans. Please end the FDA's outdated discriminatory policy against the LGBT community.

Thank you.
There are currently 5,590 signatures. NEW goal - We need 7,500 signatures!

Petition Background

My fellow Americans:

Thank you for taking the time to read about this petition and an issue that is very near and dear to my heart. I work for the Nation's second largest blood bank and the issue of blood donation has been a cause of mine ever since my grandmother had breast cancer. While undergoing a double mastectomy she lost an immense amount of blood and required multiple blood transfusions. Had it not been for those in her community, which cared enough to donate their blood, I would not have grown up having a grandmother.

Once in high school and discovering who I was and that I was gay. I soon discovered that I was discriminated against from further donating and helping save others lives just as others had done for my grandmother because of the threat or risk of HIV/AIDS infection into the blood supply. I understood the reasons and back then I was even ok with them. Because it was all about ensuring the blood supply was safe for everyone.

Fast forward a few more years to 2007 when I was elected student body president of Los Angeles City College and with the knowledge that only 5% of Americans that are eligible and actually donate I doubled the number of blood drives we had on campus and recruited feverishly to make sure every drive was more successful than the previous. But, every with every blood drive it got more and more difficult to answer questions about why I wasn't donating and the excuses of tattoos and traveling often didn’t hold much water as everyone knew I hadn't done either in years. Having to turn away would be donors based on solely on discrimination and old science made me feel even worse. I don’t think I could ever manage to forget the inner turmoil those experiences was a catalyst to. During the last blood drive on campus I began to see clearly, because I was a man and loved another man, I was separate and not equal. If not for anything else, living with HIV/AIDS for over 30 years has taught society that it doesn’t discriminate but we do. Had we not come farther as a society?

Now, some 5 years later I once again am championing the effort of saving lives through donating blood as a Donor Outreach Coordinator. Having taken blood banking 101, I was surprised to learn that it wasn't the Non-Profs or the numerous tests each donation undergoes, 11 test for infectious diseases and 3 specifically test for HIV, that were keeping the LGBT community from donating that in fact its the FDA. Whose 32-year-old policy of discrimination was not only keeping thousands of healthy Americans from donating but also innocent children from receiving much needed transfusions so they could once again leave their homes and attend school like other children who don't suffer from sickle cell anemia. After learning the facts it was clear to me that I could no longer sit on the sidelines and stand by as our government continues their policy of separate and not equal while thousands of Americans die or cannot live their lives to its fullest because of outdated interpretations of, “Anyone who is at risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.” This outdated and discriminatory policy needs to be updated and new interpretation needs to be based on science and not fear mongering. I believe that this petition, http://signon.org/sign/allow-the-lgbt-community, can change this and thousands of Americans will benefit as a result of changing the FDA's policies.
I hope that you will stand with me against this policy of institutionalized discrimination, by doing so help build a bridge from one community to another and help individuals within our communities together as one America!

Sincerely,

Ryan C. Allen

Current petition signers

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