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ADVANCE study in Orlando continues to seek participants, with push ahead of World AIDS Day

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Wednesday is World AIDS Day and a local study aimed at making it easier for some LGBTQ people to donate blood is still looking for participants.

The ADVANCE study in Orlando and seven other cities around the US could change the FDA’s rules requiring gay and bisexual men to wait three months between sex and blood donation. 

Those rules have been in place since the height of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

But OneBlood’s Susan Forbes says the Orlando portion of the study housed in the LGBT+ Center still needs about 120 gay and bisexual men between the ages of 18 and 39 to enroll.

“We right now are closing in on about 130 people for the study, right now we have 122 that are enrolled and 5 appointments that are pending. So we need to get to 250 in the Orlando area is the goal. So we are encouraging people who meet the eligibility criteria to please enroll in the ADVANCE study.”

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Forbes says participation consists of a quick blood draw and follow-up appointment and involvement is completely confidential. 

“And the only way for potential change to happen is for more people to enroll in the study and so that we can provide the necessary data back to the FDA for them to make the determination if they can make changes to this criteria.”

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The hope is that the wait time for gay and bisexual men could be replaced with an individual risk assessment, adding hundreds of thousands of donors to the pool across the country.

For more information on the study, click on the link.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.