Birmingham students yesterday urged the National Blood Service to revise its ban on gay and bisexual men.
Dozens of undergraduates from Birmingham, Aston and Central England universities protested outside the service's New Street donation centre over its lifelong ban on the would-be donors.
The National Blood Service website states a man who has had sex with another man, with or without protection, may not give blood.
Bisexual women who have slept with a man who has had sex with another man are also barred, but lesbians are unaffected.
The demonstration was held as part of the National Union of Students Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Campaign day of action.
Stuart Brown, chair of Birmingham University's LGBT group said gay students were frustrated.
He said: "For the National Blood Service to say this is about risk management is absurd, especially as the incidence of HIV is on the rise in heterosexual cases, whereas in the gay community its going down.
"I used to be a regular donor until I became sexually active and if the law was changed I'd gladly do it again. This is a homophobic policy based on research 25 years out of date."
The LGBT Campaign is one of four autonomous liberation campaigns in the NUS which seeks to represent and empower people who experience disadvantage and discrimination.
Tom O' Connor, also a member of Birmingham University's LBGT group, added: "The real inconsistency is they import blood from Australia where donors must either be celibate or in a monogamous relationship for at least a year and provide a negative HIV test before they can give blood.
"But the service's policy bans men who have had anal or oral sex with or without protection, when in fact the increase in new cases of HIV is in the heterosexual population, as in the gay community the number of new diagnoses are starting to drop off."
He added: "It's very hard for me to understand why this policy is the way it is. What we want is a similar policy to Australia.
"If a man in Britain has sex with a prostitute he's not banned for life, he's just unable to donate for six months and that's not seen as a risk in the same way gay and bisexual men are."
For more information about who can and cannot give blood and the National Blood Service visit www.blood.co.uk or call its donor hotline on 08457 711 711.