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A national blood emergency may change rules about gay and bisexual men giving blood

A person donates blood during a Children's Hospital Los Angeles blood donation drive in the LA Kings blood mobile outside the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
A person donates blood during a Children's Hospital Los Angeles blood donation drive in the LA Kings blood mobile outside the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.

Last week, the Red Cross declared a national blood emergency for the first time. The organization and state governments are urging people to donate immediately.

It’s brought the debate over who can give blood back into the spotlight. And the answer is… not everyone.  

The rules say gay and bisexual men must abstain from same-sex sexual activity for 90 days to be eligible – limitations that have long been criticized as discriminatory.

Now, LGBTQ advocates and more than two dozen members of Congress are calling on the FDA to follow the lead taken by other countries.

Christopher Cannon says there is a fix – with near universal support – but volunteers are still needed in key parts of the country. He’s the Director of Research Operations for Whitman Walker Health based in Washington, DC.

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