Barton Lynch, a 24 year-old US man checked into MedStar Georgetown University Hospital last May to donate a kidney.
Lynch had only had relationships with women before, but recently he got into a relationship with another man, making him ineligible to donate blood.This is because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in America has a one year ban on MSM (men who have sex with men) donating blood.
“I had been donating blood my whole life and it was a good way for me to give back,” he told The Washingtonian. “Not that long ago, I started dating guys, which now eliminates me from being able to donate blood.”
Lynch then added: “So I needed to find a way to give back that wasn’t giving blood. I know the need is there for kidney donations, so it seemed like a no-brainer, how could I not?”
He donated his kidney, not knowing who the recipient was going to be. He revealed he sent the mystery recipient a letter but has not heard back. “But I did hear that it was a successful surgery,” he said.
Lynch believes the FDA should scrap the “crazy” blood donation ban for MSM.
He continued: “When we are constantly in need for blood as a society and you’re excluding an entire category of people for a reason that’s not based in science, it’s crazy to me.”
Barton then explained the questionnaire to give blood doesn’t address risky behavior. It simply asks a blanket question about whether you’ve had sex with men or not. This doesn’t take into account if someone’s had multiple partners or if they’re in a monogamous same-sex relationship.
He wants the FDA to move to a risk-based assessment on a case-by-case basis.
In Irish news, activist Tomás Heneghan spoke about his own experience of being forced to choose between a healthy sex life or helping to save a life.
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