Rep. Gomez Joins Cicilline, Lee, Eshoo, Maloney and House Colleagues in Urging FDA to End Homophobic Blood Donation Deferral Period
Washington, February 27, 2022
WASHINGTON – This week, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) joins Representatives David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), and 142 of their colleagues in urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to end the blanket three-month blood donation deferral period for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transition to an individual risk assessment to determine donor eligibility.
As they state in their letter, “The existence of any deferral period tied to MSM further stigmatizes HIV/AIDS as a ‘gay disease’ and members of the LGBTQI+ community as ‘unclean.’ Sexual contact between two men is not listed as a risk factor for HIV/AIDS by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization, yet the FDA directs any male donors with a ‘history in the past three months of sex with another man’ to defer donation for three months. This policy uses sexual contact between two men as a proxy for unsafe sex that is likely to contaminate the blood supply. This inaccurate association contributes to homophobia, not a safe blood supply.”
Joining Reps. Gomez, Cicilline, Lee, Eshoo, and Maloney on the letter are Reps. Pete Aguilar, Colin Allred, Jake Auchincloss, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Karen Bass, Ami Bera, M.D., Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., Brendan F. Boyle, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cárdenas, Troy A. Carter, Sr., Ed Case, Sean Casten, Joaquin Castro, Judy Chu, Emanuel Cleaver, II, Steve Cohen, Gerald E. Connolly, Jim Cooper, Joe Courtney, Angie Craig, Charlie Crist, Jason Crow, Sharice L. Davids, Danny K. Davis, Madeleine Dean, Peter A. DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Rosa L. DeLauro, Suzan DelBene, Val B. Demings, Mark DeSaulnier, Ted Deutch, Debbie Dingell, Lloyd Doggett, Mike Doyle, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Lizzie Fletcher, Bill Foster, Lois Frankel, Ruben Gallego, Jesús G. "Chuy" García, Al Green, Raúl M. Grijalva, Brian Higgins, James A. Himes, Steven Horsford, Chrissy Houlahan, Jared Huffman, Sara Jacobs, Pramila Jayapal, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr., Mondaire Jones, Kaiali‘i Kahele, William R. Keating, Ro Khanna, Daniel T. Kildee, Derek Kilmer, Ann McLane Kuster, Conor Lamb, James R. Langevin, Rick Larsen, John B. Larson, Brenda L. Lawrence, Teresa Leger Fernández, Andy Levin, Ted W. Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Stephen F. Lynch, Kathy Manning, Doris Matsui, Lucy McBath, Betty McCollum, James P. McGovern, Grace Meng, Joseph D. Morelle, Seth Moulton, Jerrold Nadler, Grace F. Napolitano, Joe Neguse, Marie Newman, Donald Norcross, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tom O’Halleran, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Ed Perlmutter, Scott H. Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, David Price, Mike Quigley, Jamie Raskin, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Linda T. Sánchez, John P. Sarbanes, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Adam B. Schiff, Bradley S. Schneider, Kim Schrier, M.D., Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Terri A. Sewell, Elissa Slotkin, Adam Smith, Darren Soto, Abigail D. Spanberger, Jackie Speier, Marilyn Strickland, Thomas R. Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul D. Tonko, Ritchie Torres, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Juan Vargas, Nydia M. Velázquez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter Welch, Jennifer Wexton, Susan Wild, Nikema Williams, Frederica S. Wilson, John Yarmuth.
See the full text of the letter below.
Dear Commissioner Califf,