Virginia students seeks to end ban of blood donations by gay, bi men

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – Several University of Virginia students want to overturn a ban that prohibits sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The Daily Progress reports Austin Houck and others have banded together to create Homoglobin, a social welfare organization with branches at other schools including Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary.

The Food and Drug Administration instituted a lifetime donation ban on gay and bisexual men at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1983.

The policy was diluted in 2015 and now excludes donations from men who have had sex with men within 12 months.

The agency considered ending the ban in 2016 after a mass shooting at a gay club in Florida but decided there wasn’t enough evidence supporting the change.

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