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Montrose Blood Drive Hopes to Raise Awareness for FDA Limits on Gay Donors

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Advocates who want the FDA to remove restrictions on gay men's ability to donate blood are holding a blood drive September 4 at Numbers.

Organizers Banned4Life and Revive Church, which operates out of the Montrose nightclub, hope the blood drive will encourage public input on the FDA's review of its recommendations, which currently call for blood banks to defer donations from men who have had sex with a man in the past 12 months. 

In its call for public input, the FDA states:

"Interested persons are invited to submit comments, supported by scientific evidence such as data from research, regarding potential blood donor deferral policy options to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, including the feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals related to risk behaviors to alternate deferral options, such as the use of individual risk assessments." 

The Banned4Life campaign was launched by Blake Lynch and his partner, a gay couple who relocated to Houston from Orlando.

Lynch wrote in a press release:

"After the recent shooting in Orlando, FL at Pulse Nightclub, a place where Brett and Blake would frequent, they have been inspired to host a blood drive at Numbers Nightclub to educate the public on the importance of blood donations and on current blood donor policies....We encourage those who are banned to have a friend or family member donate blood in their place."

Numbers is located at 300 Westheimer, and the drive is scheduled from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will be handling donations. 

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