Evan Low is the mayor of the small city of Campbell, California. Recently, he organized a blood drive because donations are typically a lot slower during the summer. But, as the organizer and host, Mayor Low can’t actually donate himself because he’s gay.
Since 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has effectively banned gay men from donating blood on the basis of increased risk of HIV.
Low told the Bay Area’s KTVU news that the policy has long been outdated. “We are in 2013 and we use science to determine the criteria for tainted blood,” said Low. It’s very important that we look at behavior and using science instead of a discriminatory policy.”
This week, Mayor Low joined the Red Cross in calling for the FDA to review it screening criteria and change its policies.