Appalachian State University students are campaigning against the MSM blood ban prior to the upcoming annual homecoming blood drive.
Joe Wrenn, a sophomore social work major, and Amber Daniels, a freshman sociology major, are leading efforts to acquire signatures to a petition against the ban. The petition was started several years ago with help from Wrenn’s brother and Appalachian alumnus, Tommy.
The petition has gathered over 1,200 signatures so far.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, www.fda.gov, the blood ban defers men who have sex with other men (MSM) from giving blood, while women who are sexually active with men who have had sexual encounters with other men are temporarily banned. Since the AIDS epidemic in the ‘70s, it is thought that they are at an increased risk for HIV, Hepatitis B and certain other infections transmitted by transfusion.
Wrenn and a team of 15-20 people, plus volunteers from the LGBT Center, will have a booth set up in the Holmes Convocation Center on Sept. 24 for the annual homecoming blood drive from 10 a.m. until approximately 5-6 p.m. to raise awareness and sign the petition. The blood drive is held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.