entertainment

Andy Cohen ‘hurt' he's not allowed to donate plasma after Covid-19 recovery because he's gay

The US talk show host opened up about being turned away, whilst trying to help those suffering from the coronavirus.

2020-07-30

Andy Cohen has spoken out about his experience of not being allowed to donate his plasma because he is an openly gay man.

In March, the American talk show host revealed on his Instagram that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

After recovering, Cohen, 52, wanted to help those suffering from the virus by donating his antibodies-rich plasma.

Despite high demands for blood and plasma donations, he was barred from doing so on account of his sexuality.

“I was surprised because I had signed up for a programme with Mount Sinai because they needed the plasma of people who had survived COVID-19, and they said you can’t do it,” he recalled, during a video appearance on US series, The View.

In the States, guidelines published by the FDA stipulate that blood donations should be deferred for men who have “history in the past three months of sex with another man.”

Andy Cohen, shot by Leigh Keily, for the October 2018 issue of Attitude

These restrictions were born out of the HIV/AIDS crisis of the ‘80s, when limited testing technology existed to screen blood for the disease.

“I knew that gay men were not allowed to give blood. This has been something that has been going on for years.

"It was something that I took as fact in the early days of HIV in the '90s if I ever tried to give blood. The testing for HIV was far less sophisticated and accurate and fast as it is now.

“I was hurt. I just thought, 'well this is crazy' – technology has come so far that you’ve got to be looking at this,” Cohen continued.

Andy Cohen, shot by Leigh Keily, for the October 2018 issue of Attitude

The Watch What Happens Lives favourite added that he recently had an appointment with his doctor.

"The doctor said, 'Oh my God, your antibodies are so robust,' which she found to be highly unusual four months after having originally testing positive for COVID.

“I thought, 'What a loss. Here I have these robust antibodies and I can't share my plasma and possibly help anybody.' So, extreme disappointment.

“I think that this is something that I've been speaking up about because I think that… we need help here,” he urged.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Waiting for his Zoom meeting to end so we can go have fun.... 🙄

A post shared by Andy Cohen (@bravoandy) on

When The View co-host Sunny Hostin suggested that the federal guidelines seem to be “discriminatory”, Cohen expressed his agreement.

“It is discriminatory… I don’t understand it,” he said. “I’m HIV-negative… You can find that out and you can test my blood a couple of times before putting it into a system.”

Cohen – who welcomed son, Benjamin, via surrogacy last year – hosted the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar, in 2018.