Oregon Public Broadcasting

Dozens of gay men tried to donate blood at the American Red Cross center in Portland Friday, as part of a nationwide protest.

They want to change the U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy that bars gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The FDA says the precaution is due to the fact that men who have sex with men might be carrying HIV.

Portland State University student Alex Horsey was one of those turned away.

"It makes me feel like a second class citizen. My blood is just as valuable as anybody else's. But because of my sexuality I can't help people and I want to save lives and I should be able to," Horsey said.

Horsey says heterosexuals who are highly sexually active aren't similarly screened, even though they're at high risk for HIV.

The FDA says the policy is needed because while the HIV test is accurate, it can't detect infection one hundred percent of the time.

The Red Cross issued a statement saying the policy should be modified so it's more rational and scientifically-based.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.