FDA blood regulations upset gay men who can’t donate

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

In Orlando, they're dealing with more than just grief after Sunday's mass shooting,  they're also dealing with a blood shortage.

More than 50 were injured in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and need blood to help them recover but not everyone can give.

In the past the FDA said gay men couldn't donate blood at all because of the risk of transferring HIV  but the recent policy change now makes gay okay.

"The requirement is that you haven't had sex with a man for one year, for 12 months," said Dr. Susan N. Rossmann, Chief Medical Officer of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

Jo Michael with Equality California says it's a step in the right direction but he's still fighting to make things equal on every level -- including how we give blood.

"Unfortunately although this policy change is a good sign it's still discriminatory against gay and bisexual men," said Michael.

Tuesday marks World Blood Donor Day and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center in Houston needs about 1000 units of blood per day.

"Most medications are acceptable, most medical conditions are acceptable,  so we hope people will be able to find time, anytime now over the summer to come out and help us,"  said Dr. Rossmann.

Some, have already answered the call, like 12-year donor John Aguirre.

"I love it," said Agirre. "To help people out, to get everything situated, and then everyone can get better."

Although the blood center has to care for locals first, everyone is trying to pitch in to help Orlando recover sooner than later.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.