Local man pushes for FDA to end ban on gay blood donors

Dec 14, 2015

A campaign is underway to change the Food and Drug Administration's 35-year-old ban on gay blood donors.

Blood is Blood organizer Jordan Moll Vigrass (center) speaks to reporters in Niagara Square.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Jordan Moll Vigrass, 20, who has fatty liver disease, is the organizer of "Blood is Blood." Moll Vigrass says eventually he will need a transplant.

"I know my chances are slim to none. With that being said, donating once...it can help save up to three lives. If I can do that, that's going to mean a lot to me," he said at a news conference Monday in Buffalo's Niagara Square.

Moll Vigrass says the FDA's policy prevents thousands of men from donating blood.

"I understand the prevalence rate of HIV in gay men is high. But that's not all gay men. We are individuals. And [the policy] needs to be based on an individual donor's risk not a whole group of people...It's really about saving lives. It's not a gay right," Moll Vigrass said.

Rep. Brian Higgins, who attended the news conference, he believes the FDA will conclude, as the Red Cross and the American Medical Association have, that the continued ban is discriminatory.