Teen Launches Campaign To Change Plasma Donation Rules
A teenager was turned away from making a potentially lifesaving blood donation because of a past he can't control.
"I felt completely humiliated, discriminated against, I just felt horrible," said 19 year old Erick Bellomy.
Bellomy left the CSL Plasma Center in April in disbelief. He'd gone in, filled out the paperwork, brought in the proper documents, then was told he would be given a physical.
"Told them that I was molested when I was younger and I'm not really comfortable with people going below the waist," said Bellomy.
He was fondled by an older child when he was four years old. At the center, he was taken to another room with a nurse and questioned about the incident. When the nurse found out the molester was a male, this is what Bellomy was told.
"You are officially deferred from donating blood," said Bellomy. "It's because you've had sexual contact with another male."
CSL Plasma refused to tell 10TV News its guidelines regarding this matter. We looked up the Food and Drug Administration's rules.
It specifically reads "Men who have had sex with other men, at any time since 1977 are currently deferred as blood donors." The FDA says the reason is male-to-male sex is associated with an increased risk of exposure to HIV.
"That's what I'm confused about because I was touched, that wasn't sex," said Bellomy. "I've never had any other sexual contact with another male other than that."
Bellomy simply doesn't understand. He thinks he should be allowed to donate as well as sexually active gay men.
"I think they should test and not just say no," said Bellomy.
Bellomy is staging a campaign. He has a Facebook page, a website and a twitter handle. He plans to hand out flyers next weekend at Pridefest and is organizing a non-violent protest at CSL.
"I want to be able to stop that ban because I find it very discriminative," said Bellomy.
Bellomy is openly gay. He says he wasn't questioned about that at CSL when he tried to donate.
For more information about his campaign visit: ang2135.wix.com/equalityforblood