Even In The Wake Of The Orlando Tragedy, Gay Men Are Prohibited From Giving Blood

As we learn more about the horrific hate-crime that happened at Orlando’s gay nightclub, Pulse, on Saturday night, killing at least 50 and injuring more, the country is banding together in support of the victims and their families. One way that people are showing their solidarity with the victims is by giving blood.

Because the attack was targeted at a gay club, it makes sense that the LGBTQ community would feel compelled to offer support and want to give blood. However, gay or bisexual men are prohibited from giving blood according to FDA regulations.

The regulations provide that any “man who has had sex with another man during the past 12 months” or any “female who has had sex during the past 12 months with a man who has had sex with another man in the past 12 months” should be deferred from giving blood for a year.

The regulation stems from the belief that gay men are more likely to be HIV positive. This begs the question of whether the stigmatization of gay men is actually perpetuated institutionally on a nationwide scale. It is not as if the FDA created the regulations years ago and simply neglected to update them. These rules were updated in late 2015. Prior to the update, sexually active gay men were barred from donating blood for life.

AiVi Nguyen practices as a trial lawyer and focuses on business litigation and employment litigation.

She represents a diverse range of clients in adversarial proceedings at the trial level in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut as well as the Massachusetts Appellate Courts and in various Federal District and Circuit Courts. She also represents clients before state regulatory and adjudicatory agencies.

AiVi is the Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee for the City of Worcester, a board member of the United Way of Central Massachusetts Board and a board member of Bottom Line’s Worcester Advisory Board.

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