CANNES LIONS: DAY 1

The big question 34…

Giving blood has and will always be a way for us to help people – people we may never meet – yet millions of people are denied this.

But gay and bisexual men are asked the infamous question 34; “have you been intimate with a man in the past 12 months?”. The big dilemma: do I lie and give a donation? Or, do I tell the truth and stop myself from helping others in need?

Today’s talk, ‘Applying Blood Pressure: achieving blood equality together with the FDA’, passionately gave us insights and facts on this subject, opening our minds to the discrimination that still happens today. We learned that the main reason for this problem is the misunderstanding of the HIV disease, a disease that can easily be screened for and actually be prevented through medication; perfectly summed up as “scientists have caught up, yet the policy hasn’t”.

The speakers were informing yet most of all inspiring, and we were taught the harsh reality of what millions of men face and how helpless they feel. The entire talk was delivered perfectly and the room was captivated by this frankly ridiculous discrimination.

We took away a quote that epitomised this subject in a frank way from a gay soldier; “I can shed my blood for my country but I still can’t donate it”.

Image Credit: Twitter