Alan Cumming's Celibacy Challenge Addresses Unrealistic Restrictions For Gay Men Donating Blood

February 20, 2015 3:16 PM

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After years of banning gay and bisexual men from donating blood, the Food and Drug Administration recently announced it would soften its restriction to allow members of the male gay community to donate their blood — that is, as long as they’ve been celibate for at least a year. Actor Alan Cumming has taken a satirical stance on the amendment, heading a "Celibacy Challenge" campaign to back a petition asking the FDA to stop discriminating against potential donors and instead screen everyone for their individual HIV exposure risk, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Using an individual’s personal HIV risk exposure to decide whether or not they become a blood donor is not an outlandish request. The Washington Post reported that countries such as Italy and Spain have long used an individual risk assessment for would-be donors, rather than turning them down based ...

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