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It said that while some groups favor relaxing restrictions, others, "such as those representing the hemophilia community, support continuation of the current policy."
People with hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, require periodic transfusions and in the past, before screening techniques were improved to ensure blood was HIV-free, were among those most at risk of contracting the virus.
Kerry compared the effort to lift the blood donation ban to legislation he backed in 2008 to end the law banning people with HIV from traveling and immigrating to the United States. That ban was lifted last year.
Also signing the letter were Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Dick Durbin and Roland Burris of Illinois, Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Al Franken of Minnesota, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Carl Levin of Michigan, Tom Harkin of Iowa, and Mark Begich of Alaska.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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