HRC Foundation’s Inclusive Blood Drive, Festival and Speakers Forum!

HRC LA blood drive

To donate blood in honor of someone who can't: using sponsor code HRCLA

Or follow us: and #HRCBloodDrive

Blood Donation

Blood donation saves lives, but many people who want to donate blood can’t. While prohibiting blood donation is often justified, it’s time for one such prohibition to change.

On September 20, 2014, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation will partner with other leading organizations to present Include Inform Inspire - An Inclusive Blood Drive, Festival and Speakers Forum in the West Hollywood and greater Los Angeles area.  It will draw attention to a longstanding federal policy that essentially bans men who have sex with men from ever donating blood. We invite you to join us for this critical first-ever event.

About the FDA Policy

men on the street

The policy to be highlighted at the event was implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983, when HIV was newly discovered. But in the three decades since then, modern blood testing techniques have improved enormously. Given these advances, HRC, the American Medical Association, the American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and many other organizations have called for a reconsideration of the FDA’s blood donation policy, which currently focuses on sexual orientation, rather than actual risk.

How Should It Change?

HRC and other groups believe that potential blood donors should be screened based on their relevant behavior, not their sexual orientation. This approach would screen out donations likely to transmit HIV from any donor, while allowing donations from donors whose behavior poses no or negligible blood risk, including gay and bisexual men.

How Is This Drive Different?

Our Inclusive Blood Drive will differ from typical blood drives in several important ways. Our theme of Include Inform Inspire summarizes this unique event:

Include: A typical blood drive will offer incentives solely to blood donors, but this doesn't allow everyone to participate. To be more inclusive, we’ll also offer incentives to those who recruit blood donors, allowing everyone to participate. We’ll also honor those participants who are unable to donate for themselves.

Inform: We'll educate people about the FDA permanent deferral preventing gay men from donating blood, about HIV/AIDS issues, about decreasing the stigmatization of those affected, and about related transgender issues.

Inspire: We'll advocate for a deferral policy based on behavior instead of orientation. We'll also endorse proper guidelines for donations from transgender individuals, so that they are not refused based solely on gender identity. We'll also urge all groups soliciting blood donations to train staff members who must refuse donations to communicate these refusals sensitively, privately, and respectfully.

Accompanying the blood drive will be an outdoor speaker forum and festival, featuring an engaging panel of expert speakers, educational materials about the goals of the event, tabling space for event supporters, food trucks and entertainment -- all as we collect blood from eligible donors.

Want to Help?

Join us and our partners as we bring this groundbreaking event to greater Los Angeles:

Donor Recruitment – Ask eligible donors to make an appointment to donate blood. Tell them that by doing so, they can honor someone who is unable to donate for themselves. Eligible blood donors: Click here and enter the sponsor code HRCLA to make your appointment!

Event Promotion – Ask your organization to encourage eligible donors to donate blood at the drive. Call or send e-blasts to your Los Angeles-based contact database. Speak out at public events.

Volunteer Mobilization – Provide assistance on the day of the event.

Funding – Fund or provide incentives for those who recruit eligible individuals to donate blood in their place.

Our Speakers

Councilmember John J. Duran has been an elected member of the West Hollywood City Council since 2001. He is one of the first HIV-positive gay elected officials in the United States and has initiated and co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation that hold true to the City’s innovative identity and establish a model for other progressive communities.  In 2010, his support helped to unanimously pass City Council Resolutions 10-3973 and 10-3974 in support of the FDA reconsidering its ban against gay and bisexual men donating blood.

Additional speakers to be announced.

Our Partners

The American Red Cross will serve as our blood collection agency. The event will also bring together a number of highly regarded community organizations, including:

The City of West Hollywood

The Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Trevor Project

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles

Vox Femina


Love Don’t Hate

Our Corporate Sponsors

Many thanks to our corporate sponsors, including:

CBS Corporation

Sofitel Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills (Official Hotel Sponsor)

AQUAhydrate (Official Water Sponsor)

Capitol Drugs


Sheila G's - The Original Brownie Brittle Company

Pasta Chips

For more information about this inaugural event,

please contact event producer Rich Meyers at

We hope you'll join us for this life-saving initiative!