Updated 11:04 a.m.
The FDA changes blood donor restrictions for men who have sex with men. Loneliness has been declared a public health crisis in the United States. We'll explore the health impacts and solutions. The California Mermaid Convention descends on Sacramento this weekend.
FDA blood donor eligibility
For decades, gay and bisexual men have not been able to donate blood, a 40-year-old policy enacted by the Food and Drug Administration that has been criticized as discriminatory. In the decades since the FDA has slowly relaxed restrictions for men who have sex with me, but some still argue its exclusions are unfair. For example, the FDA allowed gay and bisexual men to donate blood if they refrain from having sex for a three-month period. But now, the FDA has made a change that is considered to be a significant milestone for donating blood since the policies were first enacted in the early days of the AIDS epidemic. In its update, the FDA lifted the abstinence portion for men who have sex with men as long as they are in a monogamous relationship, which isn’t a requirement for other sexual orientations. And a lot of research and study went into this change by the FDA, and One of the partners in that research is Vitalant, the leading blood donation agency in Northern California. Dr. Chris Gresens, Medical and Laboratory Director for Vitalant, joined Insight to provide more details about the FDA’s policy change.
The loneliness epidemic
It's a public health crisis federal health officials say is a profound threat to the well-being of Americans and has gone underappreciated for too long, but It's not a virus or a disease. It’s the increasing level of loneliness and isolation felt by millions of Americans both young and old. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy made headlines this month by declaring loneliness and isolation an “epidemic” that has harmed both individual and societal health. The physical health consequences he outlined in his announcement outline the health risks of loneliness are as deadly as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day and can significantly increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and even early death. It’s a crisis decades in the making but was brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic when the virus forced much of society to shut down, find alternative ways to stay connected with friends and loved ones, or lose touch entirely. To help us better understand this health crisis and how we can live happier lives, Insight invited Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky onto the program. She is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UC Riverside and author of two books on the science of human happiness.
"Best of Insight" Mariachi Bonitas
We revisit one of our favorite conversations of 2023. Since 2020, Dinorah Klinger and her all-female Mariachi band have graced concert halls and festivals throughout Northern California and the world with their soulful music. And after nearly three years of performing, Mariachi Bonitas released their first album this spring. The album, titled “Por Ser Mujer” is dedicated to the strength and perseverance of women all over the world. Klingler joined Insight in March ahead of the release of the band’s first album and their performance in Sacramento.