Andy Cohen: FDA limiting plasma donations from gay men is ‘discriminatory’
Bravo host Andy Cohen slammed the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on blood donations from gay men during an appearance on “The View” on Tuesday, calling it discriminatory.
In an interview with the show’s co-hosts, Cohen explained that he was surprised to learn that he would still be unable to donate blood with COVID-19 antibodies due to the FDA’s ban on any donations from men who have had sex with other men within a 12-month period as part of the agency’s HIV prevention efforts.
“It is discriminatory,” he said. “I don’t understand it.”
“I’m HIV-negative,” Cohen continued. “You can find that out and you can test my blood a couple times before putting it into a system.”
Advocates have argued that the accuracy of HIV blood testing negates the need to ban any sexually-active gay men from donating blood; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that sex between men carries a greater risk of HIV transmission than do other forms of sexual activity.
Cohen told “The View” that his doctor had informed him that he now carries strong antibodies useful for battling COVID-19 following his positive diagnosis for the virus earlier this year.
“The doctor said, ‘Oh my God, your antibodies are so robust,’ which she found to be highly unusual four months after having originally testing positive for COVID,” Cohen said.
“I thought, ‘What a loss. Here I have these robust antibodies and I can’t share my plasma and possibly help anybody.’ So, extreme disappointment,” he continued. “I think that this is something that I’ve been speaking up about because I think that … we need help here.”
The “Watch What Happens Live” host is currently in the middle of the 17th season of his Bravo talk show, and previously told CNN’s Anderson Cooper about his frustrations concerning the FDA’s ban.
“I understand the concerns about gay men being a higher risk for carrying HIV, but there are HIV tests that can be administrated in 20 minutes,” Cohen said in April. “So I could go, I could take an HIV test, they could tell me in 20 minutes, and they then retest your blood from what I understand. They do another HIV test of your blood.”
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