21-year-old Jay Franzone abstained from sex for a year to able to donate blood.
Franzone was finally able to donate blood this week after not having sex of any kind with another man for a year.
‘IT shouldn’t be a big deal that I gave blood this week, but it is. To do it, I had to give up all forms of sex for a year. The reason: I’m gay,’ he wrote in a New York Times article.
In an interview with VICE (which can be watched below) Franzone said: ‘I can’t receive oral sex over the course of one year—at all— but my best friend can sleep with eight different women in a week and go donate blood. No problems—without any protection. There is something fundamentally wrong with that.’
In early 2016 Franzone made the decision to abstain from sex so that he could follow the rules set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would only allow gay men who did not have sex for a period of twelve months to be able to donate blood.
The FDA revised their guidelines in December 2015 and lifted the lifetime ban to allow men who have sex with men (MSM) to donate blood, but they have to abide by the abstinence rule.
According to Franzone in the decades since the FDA ruling that prohibited gay men to donate blood, there has been ‘enormous progress’ made against the HIV virus.
‘What was once a death sentence is now a treatable, chronic condition. And we can now detect what had been an elusive virus within seven to 28 days of infection, using nucleic acid testing.’
Jay Franzone continues to fight for the right of gay men to donate blood as the communications director of the National Gay Blood Drive.
— Jay Franzone (@JayFranzone) 13 January 2017