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In 2015, Jordan Moll-Vigrass was turned away from donating blood just because he’s gay. That same year the FDA updated its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood (instated in 1983) and instead required gay men to be sexually abstinent for an entire year before being allowed to donate. But to raise awareness about the FDA‘s discriminatory policy, he founded Blood Is Blood, an organization that seeks to repeal the anti-gay blood donation ban. He also just donated blood after going celibate for one year.
Jordan Moll-Vigrass, now 22, says he was celibate — abstaining from gay sex for a year — just so he could donate. Yesterday he gave blood at the Gay Alliance Blood Drive at the American Red Cross headquarters in Buffalo, New York.
“There’s nothing I can say or do to prove that I’ve remained celibate besides tell you I have been. I can say that this past year has been really hard,” Moll-Vigrass recently told WBFO radio. “Asking anyone to remain celibate is very hard, especially someone that is 22 years old. I’ve had to cut off relationships and things like that so I wouldn’t get put in the predicament where I could ruin my year of celibacy.”
He continues, “There have been times that I’ve felt very isolated because I had to keep myself distanced from people that I may have feelings for just because I wanted to remain celibate and how important it was to me.”
Having stage three fatty liver disease himself, Jordan Moll-Vigrass knows that he himself will likely need blood donation and a liver transplant at some point during his life.
The gay blood donation ban makes no sense, scientifically speaking. HIV can be detected in the blood nine days after it has been transmitted to another person, and the FDA tests all donated blood before distributing it for use, so making men who have sex with men wait a full year before donating is ludicrous.
The blood ban applies to men who have sex with men as well as any women who have slept with those men. It’s estimated that lifting the gay blood donation ban would increase the country’s blood supply by over half a million pints.