California State Senator Scott Wiener called on San Francisco residents on Tuesday to donate blood on behalf of their gay friends as the coronavirus crisis has depleted the city's blood reserves.

The campaign #GiveForAGay aimed to motivate eligible donors to give blood and to protest against the existing ban.

"In the United States our federal government prohibits anyone from giving blood if you are man who have had sex with another man at any point in the last three months. It's effectively a ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood and we have a blood shortage right now because of COVID-19, we need everyone to give blood who can", said Wiener.

Gay and bisexual men were banned from donating blood since the 1980s. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration loosened the restriction to allow donations from men who had not had gay sex within a year. Since Thursday, due do the pandemic, the FDA lowered the celibate time to three months.

"We're trying to call attention to this problem while also getting people to give blood", said Wiener.

San Francisco registered 622 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9 related deaths.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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