Twitter won’t host blood drives because gay people are banned from donating
Social media giant Twitter has stopped hosting blood drives at their headquarters because of their policy banning gay men from donating.
Brian Schipper, Twitter’s Vice President of Human Resources, told The International Business Times (IBT) that an employee of the company was turned away from donating due to their sexuality.
Since then, Twitter has made the decision to stop hosting blood drives until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revise their policy and allow gay and bisexual men to donate.
Mr Schipper told IBT “We made the choice to take a company stand against some of our employees being turned away from donating blood and will channel our efforts into education about this issue until this unnecessary and discriminatory policy is changed.”
Jim Halloran, Twitter’s global content manager, also pointed out what he viewed as the specific problem with the FDA’s current policy.
“These are the only policies that the FDA has based on a person’s identification and not any type of risky behavior that they’re engaged in,” he said.
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“Twitter took a very bold stance.”
The ban on donations begun in the 1980’s during the emergence of HIV.
The FDA policy states that gay and bisexual men who have had sex with other men “at any time since 1977 (the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States) are currently deferred as blood donors.
“This is because [men who have sex with other men] are, as a group, at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and certain other infections that can be transmitted by transfusion.”
The new recommendations for deferrals stated that the lifetime ban should be lifted and a 12 month deferral should be introduced, similar to the UK’s current policy.