SGA to discuss homosexual blood donation policy

Blood collection has been disrupted by Hurricane Irene but not everyone is encouraged to roll up their sleeves and donate.   The Student Government Association (SGA) will meet Tuesday to discuss a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy that prohibits homosexual males from donating blood.   Currently, no male is able to donate blood if he has engaged in sexual activity with any other male.   Any heterosexual man or woman who has had sex with an HIV-positive partner will be able to donate one year later, The Harvard Crimson stated.   This regulation does not coincide with the values of the University, SGA Vice President Will Vitagliano said.   UVM ranks among the top 19 LGBT-friendly schools according to a report done by CampusPride, an organization that ranks universities on how safe and inclusive they are for LGBT students.   “It is a definite concern of students and has been brought to the attention of SGA for the past three years,” Vitagliano said.   The FDA has re-examined the ban over the years, but maintains that the restriction is necessary to keep the blood supply safe and untainted by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the New York Times stated.   “I am appalled that these men aren’t able to donate blood but prostitutes that have had sex with an HIV positive partner can after one year [of the sexual encounter] — that’s absurd,” junior Julia Stratton said.   SGA’s goal is to make students and community members aware of the current policy and get people involved in an attempt to change the policy, Vitagliano said.   “This probably won’t happen for a couple years, we’re just trying to get the ball rolling,” he said.   The SGA meeting will take place in the Grand Maple Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Davis Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.   Other business Vitagliano say may be discussed at the meeting includes mandating that professors post syllabi and ISBN book numbers prior to course registration, making animal research methods more transparent and increasing student awareness of the new add/drop policy.