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Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith Says ADVANCE Blood Donation Study Could Change History. Here’s How to Participate in Orlando.

State Rep. Carlos Smith. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE


A new study taking place in Orlando and Miami could help overturn a decades-long ban on gay and bisexual men who want to donate blood. 

Under the current FDA rule that has been in place since the AIDS epidemic, MSM or men who have sex with men, must wait three months after sex before giving blood.

The ADVANCE study is seeking to replace this rule with a simple risk assessment questionnaire which would instantly allow more LGBTQ people to be blood donors.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith says so far about 100 men have signed up to participate in the study in Central Florida, but researchers are looking to enroll 150 more participants.  

“And you hear about an opportunity like this and you just kind of keep scrolling. Or you get excited and you like it, but we need people to do more than just like it on social media. We need gay and bi men between the ages of 18 and 39 in Orlando to enroll at advancestudy.org and book an appointment so they can be a part of this historic effort too.”

Guillermo Smith says expanding the blood donor bank becomes crucial during and after crisis events like the Pulse shooting when there are blood shortages.

“And that’s why I talk about what happened after Pulse. Because there were so many gay and bi men who wanted to give blood to save a life of someone who was clinging to life in a hospital here in Orlando after the terrible shooting that were turned away. They were standing in line and they wanted to do the right thing. They wanted to save a life.”

Participants are paid at least 85 dollars to complete two quick appointments and a simple blood draw at the LGBT + Center in Orlando.

To find out more or enroll, click on this link. 


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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