SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) — With California facing a blood shortage as the coronavirus pandemic continues, state lawmakers are calling for an end to restrictions on LGBTQ blood donors.

Blood banks in the state are seeing a shortage of donors as people heed stay-at-home orders and practice social distancing.

The FDA currently prohibits sexually-active gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) calls that “irrational.”

“This blood shortage threatens lives. Yet, despite this emergency need, the FDA continues to take a non-science-based approach by irrationally excluding sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating,” Sen. Wiener said in a statement on Monday.

Wiener argues that the quality and accuracy of modern blood testing and HIV screenings makes the FDA’s policy obsolete.

“I, for one, would love to donate blood to help out in this time of need, but because I’m a gay man and have not been celibate for the past year, I’m prohibited,” Sen. Wiener said.

So far, there has been no response from the FDA.


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