The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a ban against men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. This ban was implemented in fear that HIV would inadvertently be spread through blood transfusions at the onset of the HIV epidemic when HIV/AIDS was still largely not understood. Under the ban, no man who has had sex with another man even once since 1977 is allowed to donate blood. The ban was lifetime from September 1985 until December 2015, where it was reduced to a 1 year gap since the last sexual encounter with another man.


My mom was a single mother. I am the oldest of 3 younger sisters and all my life my mom was a firm believer in NEVER showing any weakness and that includes crying. My mom is Haitian so she is very prideful and would always tell me that I had to be strong. The “strong independent black woman”. It is hard having to uphold a standard that you can not be weak no matter what you are going through. Though, society sets those standards that black women must continue to uphold that stereotype of being “independent” and “strong”, yet other races and men do not have to. [...]

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