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Man Said Blood Bank Rejected Him for "Appearing" Gay

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 16, 2011 3:00PM

2011_7_16_blood.jpg A Gary man is in the news today because a blood center rejected his attempt to donate blood because workers there made a decision that he "appeared to be a homosexual." Aaron Pace told the Sun-Times that, even though he has an effeminate demeanor, he's as far from gay as can be and it isn't right for Bio-Blood Components, inc. to reject him on an assumption.

“I was humiliated and embarrassed. It’s not right that homeless people can give blood but homosexuals can’t. And I’m not even a homosexual.”

Bio-Blood pays blood donors up to $40 a donation for blood and plasma, but they also cite a nearly 30-year-old rule from the FDA that prohibits men who've had sex with other men from donating blood, a policy sparked by the AIDS epidemic. Blood banks days use a standardized questionnaire to determine a donor's sexual history, but there has also been lobbying by civil rights groups, the American Red Cross and politicians to lift the lifetime ban, since blood donations these days are screened not only for the HIV virus but Hepatitis B and C, and other communicable diseases.