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I've just been told that my donation is not going to be accepted today and for no other reason, then I'm gay.
Lucas s stock, who lives with his husband in New York City, says he wanted to help others after Surviving Cove in 19.
I've never been that sick in my life, and I just remember basically that the fever went nearly nuns up for 12 or 13 days, and as my symptoms were kind of like at the very tail end, I just wanted to be able to help in any way.
One thing recovered Cove in 19 patients can do is donate convalescent plasma.
It's a new treatment that takes the antibodies from a recovered patient and gives them to someone who is currently ill with hopes that it will boost their ability to fight the virus.
After weeks of being symptom free, Lucas was deemed a perfect candidate to donate, but he was turned away by the New York blood center.
I went there first to Mount Sinai to be re swamped and to have samples of my blood taken on that day.
I wasn't even asked standard donor screening questions.
I was in and out in about 90 minutes, and I noticed when I walked up to the check in station with a nurse that they had a little printed out signed they had put next to the station.
That made it clear that Mount Sinai acknowledged and respected all forms of gender identity and expression, and there was a pride flag on it.
And so the kind of inner turmoil that I had over whether or not I was gonna have to lie about this became a lot easier when I realized that that relaxed standard meant I would not.
Gay and bisexual men have been restricted from donating blood since 1983 as an attempt to curb the spread of HIV.
The FDA announced they would relax that regulation amid the Corona virus, a move that many advocates say has been long overdue.
The next day they called and they gave me my test results and I had tested negative.
Two days later I got the results from the blood tests and they told me that I had high levels of antibodies in my blood and so they were recommending me as a prime candidate for donation, and they asked me what I assume are very standard donor screening questions about where you traveled to kind of medications.
You might be on some basic family history things.
And then I was waiting for this question, and the last question was whether or not I had had sexual contact in the last three months with another man and so answered No on.
They told me with that that I had passed the screening, and the next day I did get a call from the blood center and they put me through the same screening questions, and I was given an appointment.
I was labelled a prime candidate and I was excited.
I was nervous if you've donated since I was 18 and so I went in, it was the next day or the day after that.
I went in for my appointment.
They were going down and collecting photo I D.
S and just kind of asking some basic questions.
You know?
Have you ever donated blood before?
And I said, you know, not since high school, not since I was 18.
I haven't really been able to, and I'm I'm excited.
I'm a little nervous.
Uh, at that moment, the response question was.
Why haven't you been able to thinking?
I've passed the screenings, right?
You know, I let my guard down a little bit and I just volunteered.
I'm a gay man.
At that moment, the tone of the conversation shifted entirely.
Could see the expression of the person's eyes even though they had a face mask on change and immediately the response.
Waas, you won't be donating today.
Um, that was surprising in hindsight.
And, uh, I hate saying this.
I feel like I shouldn't have been surprised.
And even in that moment, it's not like I was genuinely wondering what might have possibly happened.
What went wrong in this conversation.
But I did ask for clarification.
Listen, if this is because I'm a gay man, I know the FDA recently relaxed its restrictions on gay men donating, and at that point, I was cut off And the response waas, I don't know what you think you know, but you will not be donating here today.
I kind of just felt a rush of emotions.
I felt upset.
I felt embarrassed.
I felt, uh, you know, angry.
I felt myself I felt blood rushing in my face.
I was embarrassed no additional screening questions asked the only piece of information I volunteered.
And in hindsight, I regret volunteering it because they had no right to know was that I was gay.
And then they told me that it wasn't like flipping a light switch that you can't just suddenly accept these donations.
The only real response I was given was that computers need to be updated.
Staff needs to be retrained.
That doesn't seem like an acceptable response to me, but that's what the response Waas I felt deflated, made it through this last month of hell, more or less, and it sucked coming back.
But I'm so grateful to be back, and all I want to do is help.
Um, but that wasn't an option for me.
I was ultimately left without being able to donate, and it is what it is.
I'm frustrated.
I'm healthy.
I am a qualified and even prime donor Right now.
I just want to be treated like anyone else who is heterosexual, who might walk in off the street looking Teoh help and to donate and to contribute right now, at a time when it's pretty easy to feel helpless.
A spokesperson with the New York Blood Center, told inside edition dot com.
We have been pushing the FDA to make these scientifically based changes for decades, and we will continue to advocate for further changes to this policy as scientific data permits.
And it's frustrating living in New York City, being an openly gay man and feeling safe, right and not feeling like that guard that you have to put up in so many parts of your life.
And in so many parts of this world, you know you want to be able to put that card down, and that's what I did.
And I hate to say that I regret it, but I dio for inside edition dot com I'm Joanna Lee.
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Gay Man Barred From Donating Plasma for COVID-19 Treatment

1 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on April 27, 2020
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