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Tulsa Preparing for National Gay Men's Blood Drive

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tulsa's Dennis R. Neill Equality Center and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are teaming up for Friday's National Gay Men's Blood Drive.

Officials at the center say that gay and bisexual men have been banned since 1983 from donating blood. The ban was instituted shortly after the start of AIDS. Officials at the center say it has been left in place since that time.

Gay or bisexual men will not be allowed to donate at the events. Instead, eligible donors are being asked to give in their place in what officials say is a way of showing how many more blood donors could be available if the ban were to be lifted. The drive is organizing blood collection events across the country Friday.