Coronavirus in California: Blood Donation Eligibility for Gay and Bisexual Men

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Fantastic morning.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said California would personal loan 500 ventilators to the national stockpile in an exertion to assistance states like New York where by hospitals are overwhelmed.

California, he said, was in the method of setting up 4,613 beds at shuttered hospitals and other internet sites, which includes arenas, the place fewer ill sufferers will get care to totally free up place at current hospitals.

He explained 2,509 verified Covid-19 patients are hospitalized across the condition, and of those people, nearly 50 %, 1,085, are in intense treatment.

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But for quite a few associates of a local community that was devastated by the AIDS epidemic — one particular of the couple tough analogues for the present pandemic — signing up to support is out of the problem: Adult males who have had sexual intercourse with adult men in the past a few months can’t donate plasma or blood, which is in desperately limited supply.

“This is no lengthier a theoretical issue of discrimination versus gay and bisexual adult males,” Scott Wiener, a point out senator from San Francisco, advised me. “This plan is now directly undermining our efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He reported he was established to ship a letter nowadays contacting on the F.D.A. to elevate any limits on blood and plasma donation that are certain to adult men who have sexual intercourse with men.

“It is unacceptable that a gay or bisexual guy can’t donate plasma to assist create Covid-19 treatment options, even while no these restriction applies to straight people today who are sexually energetic,” he wrote in the letter to Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the F.D.A. commissioner.

[Read more about the move to ease restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood.]

Starting in the course of the AIDS epidemic, homosexual and bisexual adult males were being barred for everyday living from donating blood as a precautionary measure intended to be certain that blood was not tainted with H.I.V.

Gay and bisexual adult men have been most afflicted by H.I.V. But advocates have explained that many of the reasons driving the preliminary ban are moot in gentle of present day diagnostic technology.

In 2015, the F.D.A. eased the restriction, revising its tips to allow males who experienced not had intercourse with adult men for a yr to donate blood.

On Thursday, not very long immediately after a Mother Jones journalist reported on his working experience recovering from the virus and being turned away from a plasma program due to the fact he is homosexual, the F.D.A. calm those people suggestions even a lot more, shortening the ready period of time for guys who have experienced sex with males to three months.

In sending his letter, Mr. Wiener joined a refrain of L.G.B.T.Q. advocates who reported that was a start off, but not enough.

“While this modify by the F.D.A. is a step in the suitable route, it continue to bases alone in bias alternatively than science,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Legal rights Marketing campaign, informed my colleagues in a assertion past 7 days.

On Monday, the F.D.A. did not remark on regardless of whether it would consider absolutely lifting the restriction.

[Want to give blood? Here’s what to know.]

What is very clear, medical professionals say, is the have to have for donors.

Dr. Byun, of St. Joseph Healthcare facility, told me that he and colleagues turned to social media to obtain their to start with convalescent plasma donor late last thirty day period, simply because the countrywide internet site wasn’t nonetheless up and jogging.

Jason Garcia, the 36-calendar year-old Escondido person who answered the write-up, explained to me about how he began to come to feel sick even though he was away from his wife and little one daughter on a function trip.

When he obtained residence, he was ready to get examined while his household organized house for him to self-isolate, despite the fact that his indications had largely dissipated.



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