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Student Starts Campaign to Let Gays Give Blood

Student Starts Campaign to Let Gays Give Blood


James Stewart Jr., a Kansas City, Mo., college student, started a Facebook group after he was turned away from giving blood because he is gay.

The nurse registering donors "looked at me and said I'd be deferred indefinitely from giving blood, and essentially unless the rule was changed, it would be something I'd never be able to do," Stewart told WDAF TV, a Fox affiliate. "No one has ever told me before I couldn't do something based on my sexual orientation. This is the first time I've ever felt discriminated against."

Last month several U.S. senators asked the Food and Drug Administration to review the lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with men. The FDA said it is reexamining the policy.

The ban was implemented in 1992 and prohibits men who have sex with men from donating blood; the FDA said the measure was necessary to prevent the spread of HIV. The American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and AABB endorse amending the law.

Stewart's Facebook group can be found here.

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