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 Please end the FDA's outdated discriminatory policy against the LGBT community.