With at least 50 people killed and 53 people hospitalized after the Orlando nightclub shooting, local hospitals have needed people to donate blood to help the injured. Unfortunately, the call for donations has brought up confusion about whether gay men themselves can donate blood, underscoring another aspect in the discrimination that they have faced.
Early on Sunday morning, after the shooting, blood donation foundation OneBlood put out a call for people to donate blood on their social media accounts, as shown in the Facebook post above and the Twitter post below.
Somehow this translated into a rumor that OneBlood would accept donations from gay men. Mashable found one such Twitter post circulating this false information. In 1983, the FDA banned blood donation from gay men, due to fears about HIV transmission. In 2012, they amended their rules from a lifetime ban to a ban on donation from men who had had sex with other men in the past year. Some social media posts had mistakenly informed people that there was now no ban.