Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council has heard from its constituents the need for a more inclusive framework for community donors in blood donations being provided by the Boulder Campus Staff Council;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council finds it discriminatory that the current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blood donation deferral (page 9: section III.B.11) for any man who has had sex with another man (MSM) in the past 3 months is based on sexual orientation and not individual risk behaviors;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council attest that this deferral arbitrarily limits MSM to freely participate in the life-saving act of blood donation;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council is encouraged by the April 2020 reduction of the MSM donor deferral period from 1 year lessened to 3 months due to COVID-19-related blood shortages, it maintains that this time-based deferral is still prejudiced;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council greatly appreciates the decades-long work of the Blood Drive Committee and its partner Vitalant to secure thousands of blood donations;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council supports, to the best of its knowledge, any scientific studies assessing the 3-month MSM donor deferral, including, but not limited to, the 2020 FDA-funded ADVANCE Study;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council recognizes that testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other infectious diseases in blood donations is rigorous (page 12: section III. F);

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council is encouraged and motivated by other groups pushing for similar changes, such as the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, GLAAD, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, United Kingdom’s For the Assessment of Individualised Risk (FAIR) steering group, and many more;

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council acknowledges that the FDA “remains committed to further investigating individual risk assessment as an alternative to time-based deferrals,” we advocate for more proactive investigations on a more urgent and larger scale; 

Whereas the Boulder Campus Staff Council understands that to engage in changing these FDA regulations, it will require the assistance of many entities on both the Boulder campus as well as multiple legislative resources;

now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Boulder Campus Staff Council:

  1. opposes discrimination in any form and affirms our commitment to inclusive excellence;
  2. is working on more processes, with this resolution as a first step, to motivate the FDA to change the blood donation policy to screen all donors based upon individual risk assessment, and to eliminate prejudice of sexual orientation;
  3. seeks to educate the general public on this issue and garner further support for changing the FDA’s MSM deferral and requalification of blood donor standards;
  4. supports continued dialogue with our donation partner, Vitalant, to ensure we provide an inclusive donation environment standing against blanket deferrals;
  5. seeks this forum as an opportunity to bring about change and as a way to show commitment to the LGBTQ+ community in its mission to provide equal access to all donors in the process of blood donation; 
  6. encourages currently eligible CU Boulder staff to continue to donate blood, and those who are ineligible, to support the community in other ways, such as volunteering with the blood donation committee, while FDA regulations continue to prevent at-liberty blood donations from MSM;
  7. urges Staff Council leadership to evaluate a more comprehensive budget that reflects a more inclusive donation space and;
  8. will dialogue with and support our Government Relations team to gather up-to-date information on legislative efforts that are working toward a viable outcome concerning this issue. 

Further resources and additional reading: