Rep. Mike Quigley Wants End To Ban On Gay Blood Donors

CHICAGO (CBS) — Congressman Mike Quigley says it’s about time and chances are good for a lifting of the nationwide ban on blood donations by gays.

Push To Lift Gay Blood Donor Ban

Quigley told WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody that the ban arose in the 1980s over concerns for safety of the blood supply.

Now, he says, scientists have learned how to screen for HIV and AIDS.

He says he has bipartisan support for an end to the ban.

However, Quigley also says he expects it will take year or two before the ban on blood donations by gays is lifted.

Under Food and Drug Administration rules, men who have had sex with men since 1977 are ineligible to donate blood.

This is because the group is at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion, the FDA policy states.

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