In Brazil, it's illegal for men who have had sex with other men to donate blood. That means thousands of liters of blood being thrown out instead of saving lives.
Thousands of people are in hospitals needing blood this very minute, but prejudice prevents them from getting it. Because in Brazil, it's illegal for men who have sex with other men to donate blood.
My mother was in the hospital, and I wanted to donate blood. I had been in a monogamous relationship for almost ten years. Yet, when the social worker found out my partner was a man, my blood was turned down. Just because I'm gay."
Stories like that happen every day in Brazil.
And what's most shocking: lots of people in Brazil don't even know about this ban.
That’s why we’re launching #WastedBlood, a campaign to show Brazil how much blood is wasted due to sheer prejudice. We filled a truck with hundreds of blood bags – the exact amount that the country wastes every day because of the ban – and drove around Brazil's largest city.
The rules for blood donations have gone through lots of reviews, but the Brazilian Ministry of Health has been able to avoid a public conversation about this rule. The more noise we make, the more people will know – and we'll be one step closer to getting rid of this bigoted ban for good.
Here are other ways to support the campaign:
- If you’re a gay or bisexual man: Join the virtual line of blood donors – a symbolic display of people who would donate blood if the ban was lifted. You don't have to be in Brazil to join in.
- If you are not a gay or bisexual man, but want to support this campaign: Watch this moving video, then spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Make sure to use the hashtag #WastedBlood.
Imagine how many lives will literally be saved if Brazil’s bigoted blood ban is lifted. It could also be a huge step to fight prejudice in a country with high rates of violence against LGBT people.