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Philadelphia Blogger Says US Ban on Blood Donations By Gay Men Is Antiquated

By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A third-year law student at Drexel University has authored a blog post that has raised more than a few eyebrows: she is advocating for removal of the federal ban on gay men donating blood in this country.

Erica Cohen routinely posts on on health issues, which is her field of concentration in school.  And she is familiar with blood drive policies — she ran a few drives at Ohio State.

But given the current state of the science, she thinks, it’s shortsighted of the FDA to just ban gay men altogether.

“If you really want to make the blood supply as safe as possible, then eliminate everyone that’s high risk,” she says.  “Otherwise, just use adequate safeguards that don’t create an overall ban.”

She suggests a one-year waiting period similar to that imposed on heterosexuals who engage in unprotected sex.

Cohen says she’s gotten a lot of negative feedback online, which she calls “disgraceful.”  But then again, she said she wanted to get a conversation going.

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