Coronavirus survivor Andy Cohen speaks more sense than the experts when it comes to gay and bi men donating blood and plasma
Andy Cohen has spoken out to explain why he was so upset to be turned away from giving plasma that could save the lives of coronavirus patients.
Cohen, who recovered from COVID-19 last month, had responded to a call for people who have survived the virus to give plasma – which researchers hope could be used to deliver vital antibodies to those currently battling the virus.
However, the host revealed on Watch What Happens Live that he was turned away from donating, under rules that bar sexually active gay and bisexual men from donating blood products.
Current FDA rules bar men who have sex with man from giving blood if they have been sexually active in the past three months.
Andy Cohen: ‘We’re in a war and I could help save lives.’
Speaking on CBS This Morning on Monday, Cohen said: “I was disappointed, I’ve known in the past about the fact that gay men cannot donate blood, but I think we’re in an unusual situation right now.
“We’re in a war against a disease that we don’t know a lot about, and there’s an urgent need for the antibody that is in people like me, who survived coronavirus.
“There’s an urgent need for the blood that I have, so I was disappointed. I want to help. I think that the rules should be looked at again by the FDA. There have been great strides in testing for HIV since these rules were adapted.
“They screen the blood after you donate it to make sure there’s not HIV in the blood, so I think this needs another examination. We’re in an usual moment in time right now, there’s a war going on and we’re all being asked to adapt and the FDA should too.”
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Cohen pointed out: “There could be sexually promiscuous heterosexuals who have had plenty of sex in the past three months, who can go in no-questions-asked and give blood.
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“I think that the plasma in my body can absolutely help someone or possibly cure someone.”
The FDA said that it is currently working on a pilot study to determine if “an individual risk assessment” approach would be as effective as the current ban.
Cohen urged viewers: “If you’re someone who has survived coronavirus, go give blood. It is needed and appreciated.”
UK also bars men who have sex with men from coronavirus plasma trial.
The UK is also trialling the use of plasma from coronavirus survivors to help people who still have the virus.
Like in the US, the criteria for the trial are based on blood donation rules – excluding coronavirus survivors from helping if they are men who have sex with men.
NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We can confirm that you have to meet all the current blood donation criteria to take part in this proposed trial.”