Blood is Blood
Our Mission: To encourage the FDA to seek and implement blood donation policies that are non discriminatory towards Gay & Bi-sexual men in an effort to save lives. How? Blood is Blood will hold monthly events to raise awareness & edcuate the community on Blood is Blood, We want to show the community that Gay & Bi-sexual men are very giving & More importantly to inform the community we are HUMAN and we should be treated equally when evaluating possible threats to the donor pool. Why? In October 2015 Jordan Moll Vigrass visited a blood donation center prepared to give blood. Jordan, who is openly gay and has been in a committed relationship for 4 years, was refused as a blood donor after disclosing his sexual orientation during the questionnaire screening process. Outraged by the federal policy and disappointed by being refused the gift of providing lifesaving blood donations, Jordan started Blood is Blood to advocate for change & to save lives
Started 2 petitions
Encourage the FDA to Review Blood Donation Policies that discriminate against Gay & Bi men.
The FDA's Current Guidance on Blood Donations for Gay and Bi-Sexual men is discriminatory and arbitrary leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so.It needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect current science and HIV testing capabilities to determine one individual donor's risk to the donor pool. And each unit of blood donated in the U.S. is routinely screened for various infectious disease pathogens, including five transfusion–transmitted viruses, using nine laboratory tests which makes the restrictions on donations by gay and bi men unnecessary and discriminatory. Jordan's Journey: Worthless is how I felt after I went to donate blood in October of 2015 shortly after I found out that I have Fatty Liver-Disease, a disease that often requires a liver transplant later in life. I wanted to pay it forward in case I would need a transplant and the accompanying blood transfusions, but I was turned away. At the time, I was unaware of the FDA’s guidance that indefinitely deferred gay & bi-sexual men, or men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. I felt as if I was a 2nd class citizen - as if my blood was not worth anything. Outraged by this policy, I began researching the issue and founded the “Blood is Blood” movement. On December 14th, 2015 I planned a community rally in Buffalo, N.Y. with Congressman Brian Higgins, to push for a change to the policy that is discriminatory towards gay & bi-sexual men - leaving countless healthy donors unable to do so. Shortly after the Community Rally, in January 2016, the FDA released an updated guidance on this policy, replacing the lifelong ban with a 12-month deferral period. The revised guidance removed the blanket discrimination and merely applied a bandage. The revised guidance is still discriminatory towards the gay & bi-sexual community and while a step in the right direction it was not enough. In June 2016, my heart (like many) was stricken by the hate and violence of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I, like many, wanted to help my community and donate blood. People flooded blood banks all over the country to donate lifesaving blood to help those injured. While many gay & bi-sexual men were unaware of the FDA policy, they showed up to to donate and were turned away. At this point, I knew that something had to change. We cannot keep having this conversation after every mass shooting or disaster about how this policy leaves countless healthy donors unable to save lives. I had to act, so I contacted the American Red Cross in Buffalo, NY and organized the First Gay Alliance Blood drive that took place on July 27th, 2016 with the mission to raise awareness and spark conversation about this absurd policy. I encouraged men whom were prevented from donating (due to being gay or bi-sexual) to bring a friend to donated on their behalf, as this way lives can still be saved. I started this movement to save lives and affect change. That day was amazing as 53 donors came forth and helped save over 159 lives. I decided to make this an annual event and at the 2nd annual Gay Alliance Blood drive on July 26th, 2017, I vowed a year of celibacy so I could become a blood donor in 2018. Abstaining from sex for a year would be difficult, but I did so to spark a community conversation about the FDAs antiquated guidance.. Last month, my year of celibacy came to end and I proudly donated blood at the 3rd Annual Gay Alliance Blood Drive - a milestone for me, an accomplishment at least It felt like at the time, after all, I donated blood, right? It was not that simple; I soon realized that nothing had changed. I was still that gay man whose blood was not good enough unless I stopped living my life. My year abstaining from sex was very difficult. There was many nights I felt depressed and closed off from the world, afraid that I would put myself in a situation that would ruin my year celibacy. I cut off contact with men whom I had feelings for, essentially putting my life on hold. While I do not regret my year of celibacy, with the FDA’s guidance that requires gay & bi-sexual men to abstain from sex for 12 months is detrimental to the mental health of the gay & bi-sexual community. In 2016, the FDA said they would continually review this policy, since then, nothing has changed. The policy should be based on one individual donor risks based on current science. The deferral period should be no longer than 30 days. Current testing technology enables an HIV infection to be detected in donated blood within several weeks of exposure. Even those subjected to the deferral period should be screened by their individual sexual history, not discriminated towards because they belong to one group. This is similar to the policy adopted in Italy in 2001 where donors are assessed individually with questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Currently, The Williams Institute calculates that there could be at least an additional 600,000 MSM potential - saving over 1,800,000 lives annually if there was no 12 month deferral period. At the local Gay Alliance Blood Drives I have planned, there would have had an additional 134 donors, saving an estimated 402 lives! I encourage you to do your part by contacting local state and federal officials about this antiquated policy and learn more about “Blood is Blood” and our mission at http://bloodisblood.us
END THE FDAS MSM BLOOD DONATION LIFE BAN!
My Story - Blood is Blood On October 19th,2015 i went to my local american red cross to donate blood out of the kindness of my heart, and during the screening process i was asked since 1977 have i had sex with another man, I answered yes because i am an openly gay man engaged to be married in a relationship of 4 years. When the receptionist reviewed my answers she told me that i was indefinitely banned for donating blood because i had sex with another man.I never knew that his FDA Law existed until then and when i got home i did some more research,i do understand that in 1983 this law made sense, but it has since been scientifically proven that HIV(aids) is not only transmitted in msm sex and in fact transmitted through open cuts, sores, or breaks in the skin; through mucous membranes, such as those inside the anus or vagina; or through direct injection. and That Unprotected vaginal intercourse is the most common mode of HIV infection worldwide. and that heterosexual intercourse is the most common mode of HIV transmission in many resource-poor countries.. This has nothing to do with protecting the Blood Donations its at this point pure discrimination. The questionnaire they use need to be changed or totally get rid of this law. And in fact that same law states that heterosexuals with multiple partners are allowed to donate blood despite increased risk for transmitting HIV and hepatitis. I have started a group called Blood is Blood at http://fb.me/bloodisblood please follow us and support by signing this petition. and this is my speech from our Communty Rally in Downtown buffalo on Decemeber 14th, 2015 "When this law was first created in 1983 scientists thought that it was a "gay-related immune deficiency also know as GRID" and that it was only transmitted through gay sex. Later that year in January 1983, AIDS was reported among the female partners of males who had the disease proving it could be passed on via heterosexual sex. And in that same year "gay related immune deficiency" was renamed to "AIDS for acquired immune deficiency syndrome" because It was scientifically proven that it was not only a gay man's disease and in fact it could be transmitted through open cuts, sores, or breaks in the skin; through mucous membranes, such as those inside the anus or vagina; or through direct injection. On may 13th,2015 the FDA released a draft guidance a proposed amendment to this law to allow gay men to donate as long as they are Abstinence for at least 1 year. As much as I know this will leave countless healthy donors from donating I know it is a step in the right direction, a token of acceptance and moving forward. The FDA's is classifying all gay and bisexual men as a risk and it needs to be based on individual donors risk, the FDA cannot just throw a blanket over a group of people and say they are all risks. If they were able to do that what about Washington, DC where all residents of Washington DC are not deferred from donating blood simply because the prevalence rate of HIV in the district is considered a severe epidemic and is higher than the general population however all gay men are excluded from donating blood simply because HIV is more prevalent in the gay population than in the general population. not amending this law or instituting a deferral period for all msm is no less discriminatory than banning blood donations from individuals based simply on where they live. The Williams Institute and The American Red Cross - says that currently 9.2 million people donate blood annually, If we were to get rid of the ban completely an additional 4.2 million people will be eligible to donate blood and an estimated 1.36 million of them will donate blood annually saving over an estimated 4 million people. Instituting the 1 year deferral an additional 2.16 million people will be eligible to donate blood which 190,000 will most likely donate blood annually saving over 570,000 lives. The facts are facts Please support and follow Blood is Blood on our Facebook page at facebook.com/bloodisblood There are lives at risk here, Let's all stand together until something changes until lives are saved!"