Orlando needs blood donations after deadliest mass shooting in US history

Hundreds Line Up To Donate Blood To Orlando Shooting Victims
Hundreds Line Up To Donate Blood To Orlando Shooting Victims

Following the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, an attack that targeted a gay nightclub, health officials urged potential blood donors to come forward and help.

Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan even told MSNBC that a ban on gay men being allowed to donated blood had been lifted, but OneBlood, a blood donation organization in Florida, later denied that is the case.

"I understand the blood banks are accepting blood from everyone. I think that's appropriate right now, because there has been a ban on gay men donating blood," Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan told MSNBC. "I think it's appropriate right now — you can screen the blood, maybe this tragedy is the one thing that took that ban away."

SEE ALSO: Orlando club owner opened Pulse to celebrate her brother who died of AIDS

Patty Sheehan, Orlando commissioner, tells @msnbc blood banks lifted the ban on gays donating blood. pic.twitter.com/9mq96VyXXz

— Bobby Cherry (@GoBobbo) June 12, 2016

But OneBlood then tweeted: "All FDA guidelines remain in effect for blood donation. There are false reports circulating that FDA rules were being lifted. Not true."

Mashable has reached out to the FDA and will update the post when more information becomes available.

In 2012, the FDA lifted its lifetime ban on accepting blood donations from gay men with new regulations stipulating that men must wait one year after sexual contact with another man to donate blood. The original ban was put into place in 1983 in the midst of the AIDS crisis and is considered by many to be a homophobic policy that stigmatizes gay men. According to the Red Cross, blood donations are routinely screened for HIV.

Editor's Note: This story and headline have been updated to reflect conflicting statements about whether FDA guidelines have been changed to make it easier for gay men to donate blood in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting.

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