This gay man won’t have sex for a year so he can donate blood
Jay Franzone wants to highlight how ridiculous the current ban is in the wake of the Orlando massacre.
A young gay man has discussed his decision to abstain from sex for a year – just so he can donate blood.
Jay Franzone is a 21-year-old student with a long-term boyfriend.
Despite his age and relationship status, Franzone says he is determined to not have sex for twelve months.
He is doing so in protest of current legislation regarding men who have sex with men’s ability to donate blood.
“Being abstinent for a year is a crazy thing to ask of people,” he told BuzzFeed News.
In the US, under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) latest guidance, men are banned from giving blood or plasma until one year after the last time they had sex with another man.
Franzone says that the guidelines amount to a total ban on sex for gay men.
By adhering to the current rules — a year without sex — he hopes to demonstrate that the policy is not just unrealistic but also discriminatory.
He says his frustration reached its peak last week, when a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
When the demand for blood skyrocketed, he says nobody in Florida wanted to donate more than the LGBT community.
However, FDA regulations stipulated that no gay men couldn’t give blood, despite some falsely reporting a temporary lift on the ban.
“When our community is attacked, we want to help,” said Franzone.
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“We want to be there. But we can’t because we’re gay.
“Discrimination is still alive and well in outdated federal policies.”
More than a dozen Democrat lawmakers have since called on the FDA to lift the ban altogether – arguing that it is wrong to discriminate on sexual orientation rather than sexual activity.
In the UK, men who have had sex with another man in the last 12 months are not allowed to donate blood, although an upcoming review hopes to bring the ban down to 3 months.