Blood Plasma Donation Near Me

Blood Plasma Donation Near Me – In early March, John Morrison began to tire. He coughed and had trouble breathing, but the 46-year-old Philadelphian didn’t think he had the coronavirus — he didn’t have a fever.

Morrison was worried when her drag queen Brittany Lynn’s fingers turned blue. That’s when he went to the hospital.

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“There are barriers that seem like they’re going to end in the future, and they’re using these hazmat suits like in a horror movie, and I’m throwing my hands up in the air like I’m under arrest,” Morrison said, and with them. the first day of illness.

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He was given a mask and taken in, where doctors ran several tests, including a COVID-19 test. Soon after, Morrison was told she was positive. After her story appeared in the Philadelphia Gay News, Morrison made several calls asking people to donate her plasma.

John Morrison, better known as Philadelphia’s drag queen Brittany Lynn, seen here, wants to donate recovery plasma after contracting COVID-19. But FDA policy prohibits gay and bisexual men from donating. (By Brittany Lynn)

Convalescent plasma therapy itself is not new, although its use in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is still experimental, and the Food and Drug Administration approved its emergency use on Sunday under pressure from the White House. . Researchers want to see if the recovered patient’s blood can be given to people with serious infections to help fight them off.

“I don’t want to give anyone else COVID. They said, ‘You’re still young,’ which I thought was a bit rude because you’re 40 – but they said, ‘You’re strong and important, but maybe you should take care of yourself.’ “If I have a reaction and I’m fine…” Morrison trailed off.

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But many gay men like Morrison are not eligible to donate blood and plasma. Men who have sex with men, clinically known as MSM, are not allowed to donate if they have not had sex in the past three months. FDA regulations date back to the 1980s, when blood donation was prohibited during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Talk show host Andy Cohen recently spoke about his experience with grant restrictions. Cohen, who is gay, went to a blood center to donate plasma after recovering from COVID-19, only to be turned away because of his sexuality.

Until 2015, men who had sex with men could not donate blood at all. From that year, they were allowed to donate only if they had not had sex with a man for a year. In April, the FDA shortened the deadline by three months due to the need for blood donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s weird because you can come in and not say you’re gay. What are they going to do? Are they looking for you? But people do. Like Christmas, you see the Salvation Army asking you to change.” regressive, you still give them money because it helps people,” Morrison laughed.

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Before the pandemic, Morrison was aware of FDA restrictions. So he felt the plasma donation policy was similar. His theory was confirmed when Jefferson University Hospital told him that other COVID-19 patients had recovered from the coronavirus clinical trial. An online survey asked male donors about their sexual history with men.

“I spend a lot of time with every civil servant you can think of, I manage a huge group of Mummers, I’m involved in all corners of the community – gay and straight – I shoot the Queen’s story time, so I’m always working.” Guys, I’m running a children’s education program. “So, not to toot my own horn, but I think I’ve done a lot,” Morrison said. – They can feel that I have been helping others for 24 years, and that feeling is extinguished just by me saying it. can’t donate blood – seems dirty and different from others. This is the most special thing for me. I think I’m welcome as a gay man. “

In April, Sheila Oliver of New Jersey, Bethany Hall of Delaware and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania joined a group of state officials urging the FDA to lift the ban. The company is currently involved in evaluating their effectiveness.

LGBTQ+ advocates say that while reducing the suspension period to three months is a step in the right direction, the policy is outdated, discriminatory and not based on science.

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“This policy, like most criminal laws in America, was created in the era of HIV and AIDS, so mongers are passing laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people,” said Christian Fuscarino. Director of Garden State Capital. “But we now know, through science, that these laws are not only discriminatory, but they also seriously harm people’s lives by not being able to help us, especially when we’re sick.”

The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School estimates that 360,000 men who would like to donate plasma are unable to donate because of these restrictions. Their plasma has saved the lives of over a million Americans.

“I think plasma is more useful than toilet paper right now. We also know that this plasma provides vaccines from COVID survivors and helps patients recover faster. So you have millions of men who can save millions of lives,” said Salvatore Seeley, director of health and wellness programs for CAMP Rehoboth, a community service organization.

Fuscarino, of Garden State Plains, learned about the donation law as a teenager when she learned she couldn’t participate in a high school blood drive.

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He said: “I am very angry because I live a very good life and bloody people will not take my blood just because they insult my love, I am down and sad.”

As an advocate, Fuscarino said he’s heard from many gay and bisexual men who want to donate blood and plasma — many of whom don’t know about the ban until they come to the blood center.

“We hear stories all the time from members of the LGBTQ community, especially gay men, who come in to donate blood or plasma, and find that their blood donation is useless or ineffective, and in vain. From people who are there to help others,” he said.

Garden State Equality President Christian Fuscarino said the ban is discriminatory against gay men and women who want to donate blood and plasma. (Courtesy of Garden State Capital)

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A Delmarva Blood Bank spokeswoman said 14 of the 79,000 people expected to donate in 2019 were turned away because of the problem.

“He came in and, like Andy Cohen and others, saw an ad that said, ‘Hey, if you’ve had a disease recently or you’re affected by it, you can help. “So she went to the middle, she filled the newspaper, but when it came to the human investigation, because she wrote her testimony, and she told the truth about it, she was told, ‘Oh, because of your gender, you’re not allowed to donate,'” Seeley said.

“I think it’s scary to know that same-sex act still exists. He’s going to leave New York knowing he can’t help people who need plasma.”

Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, is known for his research on the health of LGBTQ people, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and mental health. He said policies like the FDA’s blood donation restrictions could have dire consequences.

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Halkit, who is also a gay man with the COVID-19 vaccine, said, “gay health is not just a genetic or behavioral problem, but a social problem.

“There’s a lot of thinking out there … that shows that populations that are at risk of discrimination and discrimination, and these kinds of policies, have a worse health impact. So it affects the mental and physical health — or I call it ‘wellness’ — of gay men.” shoot,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said in an email: “FDA’s mission is to protect the public health by ensuring blood safety is based on implementing a donor screening process. The science is there.”

FDA

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