Straight Man Turned Away from Blood Center Because He ‘Looked Gay’

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A man in Chicago was rejected from giving blood because a blood center deemed him “too gay,” reports The Chicago Sun Times. What’s more, the man in question, 22 year old Aaron Pace, is not homosexual. Pace says he was deemed to be gay due to his appearance and behavior.

This exclusion was based on a policy implemented in 1983 that states that any man who has had intercourse with another man is not allowed to donate blood. This policy was a result of the outbreak of HIV that was first clinically observed in the early 1980s. However, at the time the detection of HIV in blood was far less advanced than it is now.

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Gay rights campaigners have been eager for a change in policy. Curt Ellis, former director of The Aliveness Project, told the Sun-Times that Pace’s exclusion was “unfair, outrageous and just plain stupid. The policy is based on the stigma associated with HIV that existed early on.”

Pace told the Sun-Times he felt “humiliated and embarrassed.” “It’s not right that homeless people can give blood but homosexuals can’t,” he said. “And I’m not even a homosexual.”

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