SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Blood drives will be held across the Bay Area and country on Friday in order to pressure the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to lift the ban that prohibits gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The FDA has had a policy in place since 1992 that bans men who have had sex with other men from donating because of a high-risk for the transmission of infectious diseases such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

RELATED: ‘Gay Blood Drive’ Calls For End Of FDA Donation Ban

KCBS’ Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor  spoke with Lisa Bloch, spokeswoman for Blood Centers Of The Pacific, on Friday about the intent of the blood drives.

“Our blood center in San Francisco is one of the first to say, let’s have it reflect current science. The tests are very sensitive so we feel that revision of this policy would still ensure that the blood is safe for transfusion,” she said.

“We don’t advocate for a complete removal of any restriction, but it should be more in line with other deferral criteria.”


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