A Gay Blood Drive Day will be held on Friday, to protest the continuing blanket ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in the US.

The Food and Drug Administration currently imposes a blanket ban on donating blood for all men who have had sex with men, because of the “increased risk” of sexually transmitted diseases.

The ban was initially put in place in the 1980s following the AIDS epidemic, and critics say it does not reflect modern advances in screening technology

However, they have faced calls to implement a system that reflects actual risk, as opposed to discriminatory risk.

In South Africa a blanket ban on gay men donating blood was scrapped in May, in favour of new regulations which do not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

On July 11, the campaigners will head to blood donation centres across the US, to advertise their willingness to donate.

San Francisco Congressman Mike Honda said: “Despite tremendous advances in the medical and biotech fields, the Food and Drug Administration still bans blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

“The American Medical Association now opposes this discriminatory and outdated restriction.

“Our society is increasingly supporting equality for LGBT people. I will fight this ban that only marginalizes, stigmatizes, and stereotypes healthy people across the country.”

Bodies across the world have been under pressure to change their restrictions, with a blanket ban lifted in 2011 in England, Scotland and Wales, in favour of a 12 month ban since last sexual activity.

A blood ban remains in place in Northern Ireland, with UK Health Minister Jeremy Hunt describing it as “a matter for its devolved government”.

Watch a clip below: