Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gay Blood Not Welcome in San Bruno Relief Effort

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 1:40 PM

click to enlarge All blood is not created equally, according to the federal government
  • All blood is not created equally, according to the federal government
All blood is not created equally, according to the federal government
Blood Centers of the Pacific is reporting that community response to the San Bruno explosion and fire has been outstanding. So outstanding, in fact, that donors are urged to not give blood. They have enough. Come in and give next week or shortly thereafter when they'll need to replenish their current supplies.

But not if you're gay.

Blood Centers of the Pacific has been battling federal regulations for more than a decade. But FDA rules remain unchanged: If "you are a man who has had sex with another man since 1977," you are not eligible to donate blood. Period.

Lisa Bloch, Blood Centers' communications director, says that gay men have not been turned away from donating blood in the San Bruno effort -- because they know about this requirement and don't bother to show up.

"We were the very first blood bank in the country to publicly come out -- please excuse the pun -- and ask the FDA to change this antiquated requirement," she says. Bloch notes that the federal ban does not apply to women who have had sex with women. But a 17-year-old boy who had sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend would not be eligible, even if both were previously virgins. Them's the rules.

click to enlarge No volunteerism for you...
  • No volunteerism for you...
No volunteerism for you...
Solving this will take more than a lawsuit, she adds, because the FDA has determined that "donating blood is not a right."

Angry? Bloch recommends a solution that predates the ability of humans to transfuse blood: Call your Congressman.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"