Posted by Michael Emanuel Rajner on Facebook:
BLOOD DRIVE HOSTED IN HEART OF GAY AND HIV/AIDS COMMUNITY IN WILTON MANORS
My phone has been burning up with incoming calls and text messages about the May 8th blood drive in Wilton Manors. While blood drives are essential to ensure our nation has enough blood for our military and those at home, hosting one in the heart of a gay mecca is poorly planned and not a wise venue. If your a member of the LGBT community, you are probably scratching your head and wondering why have a blood drive in a community where probably well more than 50% of those in and visiting the City of Wilton Manors would be prohibited by federal law from donating blood.
Several weeks ago, Celeste Ellich spoke before the Wilton Manors City Commission discussing how important these blood drives are, and I agreed. But what she was incapable of understanding is why past blood drives in Wilton Manors were failures based on the low level of blood donations. Perhaps she simply didn't know that the FDA explicitly bans the donation of blood by any man having sex with a man, or anyone who had sex with a man who had sex with a man or injected drug user among other exclusions.
As a person living with AIDS, whenever I walk past one of these donation buses, I'm pleased to see people volunteering their time and other donating blood. But if I'm asked to donate blood, I simply reply, sorry I can't, I have AIDS.
A blood drive in a community like Wilton Manors that is so impact by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis is poorly planned and contributes to the stigma of people living with HIV/AIDS. Our blood supply is safe as screening is so effective now that the FDA ban on homosexuals is out of date and discriminatory.