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UAF to present forum on blood donor restrictions

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The Utah AIDS Foundation will host a Public Health Champions Virtual Forum to discuss the FDA’s current blood donor restrictions targeting gay and bisexual men. The group believes the current FDA ban preventing sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood is discriminatory and seen by many in the medical community as unnecessarily obstructive to the nation’s crucial blood supply. The Red Cross recently declared that the recent surge in Covid-19 cases had fueled the “worst blood shortage in more than a decade.”

“Restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood stem from the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s,” organizers wrote in a statement. “As LGBTQ+ advocates, Utah AIDS Foundation stands with more than two dozen members of Congress in calling on the Food and Drug Administration to further ease donor restrictions. The institutionalized stigma of HIV and of gay and bisexual men is unwarranted and harmful.”

Forum panelists include Troy Willams, executive director of Equality Utah; Utah State Senator Derek Kitchen; and Matt Bryan, Associate Medical Director of LGBTQ+ Health at Intermountain Healthcare and Utah AIDS Foundation Trustee. Shireen Ghorbani, Utah AIDS Foundation Trustee, will moderate the forum.

The Red Cross recently declared that the recent surge in Covid-19 cases had fueled the “worst blood shortage in more than a decade.” Please join us for this relevant and serious discussion.

The event will take place virtually on Thursday, May 19. The suggested ticket price is $25 per household. Register at utahaids.org/events

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