EMERGE at Viacom Teams Up to Support Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Inclusive Blood Drive’

Karla Melara by Karla Melara, Viacom

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“Donate blood in honor of someone who can’t,” said Rich Meyers, of Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – Los Angeles, at a recent lunch on the Paramount lot with members of EMERGE, the company’s LGBT and straight ally employee resource group. Emerge invited HRC in an effort to highlight issues of importance to the LGBT community.

In this day and age, many would think that everyone is allowed to donate blood – the nation has a blood shortage nearly every year, and with the advancements in technology, there has to be some kind of mistake with that statement.

The unfortunate truth is that there is a part of our population who are prohibited from donating blood, even if they wanted to. In 1983, when HIV was newly discovered, the FDA implemented a policy banning blood donations from men who have had sex with other. Our modern blood testing technology and knowledge of the virus have improved enormously since then, but the FDA has kept its firm stance on the ban. The Human Rights Campaign, along with other organizations like the American Red Cross, the American Medical Association, the American Association of Blood Banks, are working to persuade the FDA to reconsider its antiquated policy.

This Saturday, Sept. 20, HRC Foundation is hosting an ‘Inclusive Blood Drive’ in West Hollywood, CA to raise awareness and collect blood donations. Anyone that is eligible to donate blood is invited to donate on behalf of our friends and loved ones who cannot.  Another way to help is to sign the HRC’s FDA Blood Ban petition. Together, we can make a difference.

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