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Activism of Senior Merits Newspaper Coverage

April 9, 2010

Adam Gilbert 2010a.jpgApril 9, 2010, Greencastle, Ind. — "A university student who says a federal policy discriminates against gay males who want to donate blood is taking a creative step to raise awareness of the issue," begins a story published in Indiana's Terre Haute Tribune-Star. "Adam Gilbert, a senior at DePauw University, is asking people to become 'Advocates for Adam: Donate His Weight' by giving blood April 12 and 13 at an American Red Cross blood drive on the university campus in Greencastle."

"As a homosexual man, I cannot donate blood," Gilbert says. "I hope to encourage people to donate blood in my place, to raise awareness of the FDA policy and advocate for its change."

Lisa Trigg writes, "The Food and Drug Administration established the policy in 1983 in response to the spread of HIV within the gay community in the early 1980s. The policy put 'men who have had sex with men (or MSM), even once, since 1977' on a lifetime deferral from donating blood. Gilbert said that the advances in blood testing and HIV screening for all blood donations received today make the policy outdated and discriminatory."

The senior tells the newspaper, "This campaign is about educating people on IMG_6966.jpgdiscrimination that still exists today with a hope that, by changing this policy, we can positively impact our nation’s blood banks. Since I can’t donate to show my support, I’m asking for help."

Gilbert is hoping that his efforts will lead people at the DePauw drive to donate as much blood as he weighs. Trigg notes, "He is also asking people to sign a petition urging the FDA to modify the policy. Advocates for Adam will also be given rainbow bandages to wear on their arms to show their support for blood donations and the policy modification."

You'll find the complete article at the Tribune-Star's Web site. Another story appears in Greencastle's Banner-Graphic.

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