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This Gay Man Could Finally Donate Blood After A Year of Celibacy

Jay Franzone
Jay Franzone/Twitter

Jay Franzone wanted to call attention to the FDA’s one-year deferral on gay and bisexual men.

A gay man who went an entire year without having sex with men was finally able to donate blood early this week.

Jay Franzone took the vow of celibacy in accordance with the current blood donation policy enforced by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA originally held a lifetime ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. The current policy is that MSM can donate if they have not had sex with men for 12 months--what many gay and bisexual men feel is a de facto ban on blood donations.

"Being abstinent for a year is a crazy thing to ask of people," Franzone told BuzzFeed News in June. In that report, he claimed that the last time he had sex was in December 2015.

In a Friday op-ed for the New York Times, Franzone said that he finally donated blood on Tuesday and lambasted the FDA's deferral policy.

"This one-year blanket policy, which depends on the honesty of the would-be donor, still falls short by failing to consider a potential donor's individual risk factors," he said.

Franzone, who is the communications director for the National Gay Blood Drive, advocates an individual risk assessment policy for potential donors that concentrates on behavior rather than sexual identity.

"The FDA should adopt a modern blood donor deferral policy that is based on the risk of individual donors, as determined in interviews by people trained to make that determination."

The FDA is currently reviewing the one-year deferral policy for MSM.

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