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Blood is Blood

Today is World Blood Donor Day, but the FDA still discriminates against men who have had sex with men in the last 12 months. To bring awareness to the issue, spark conversation and inspire reform, creative agency Mother New York collaborated with Callen-Lorde, artist Stuart Semple and gender fluid retailer The Phluid Project to collect blood from gay men and turn it into a unique screen printing ink used to make t-shirts. The message is simple: Blood is Blood.

“Blood Is Blood” specifically confronts the U.S. government’s ban on gay, bisexual and transgender men who have had sex with other men in the past 12 months from donating blood. According to a study by the Williams Institute , if the current FDA blood ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) were lifted, it is estimated that an additional 360,600 men would likely donate 615,300 additional pints of blood each year, and could be used to help save the lives of more than 1.8 million people

“The blood ban is a detriment to everybody, preventing healthy blood from getting into the hands of those who need it while perpetuating the myth that HIV is a ‘gay disease,” said Peter Meacher, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Callen-Lorde. “All blood is screened, and everyone can be at risk for HIV. The more we pathologize HIV by attaching it to certain communities, we are perpetuating stereotypes that ultimately harm us all. Everyone should be thinking about HIV prevention and screening methods should reflect that by basing criteria on behaviors, not orientation or identity. Banning a specific group from performing a civic duty is stigmatizing and when based on shoddy science, is clearly discriminatory.”

Learn more and pre-order a shirt today at bloodisbloodshirt.org or stop by the Phluid Project to pick one up today!