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How Painting With Gay Blood Can Tackle HIV Stigma

Gay Blood
Courtesy MOTHER

A creative company is tackling a ban on blood donations from gay and bi men in a very novel way.


Nearly 40 years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put a lifetime ban on the use of blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). This act is not only discriminatory and homophobic, but also worsens the national blood shortage. The ban is out-dated and creates a false pretense on HIV blood contamination. 

To address this injustice, creative company MOTHER is launching the Gay Blood Collection during this month's New York Fashion Week. This collection of art tools are a proactive and progressive stride towards ending the stigma surrounding gay blood.

This first-of-its-time collection created a unique ink from MSM blood in collaboration with pigment artist, Stuart Semple, with the intention to drive attention and raise awareness for this issue. All profits from the Gay Blood Collection benefit Callen-Lorde, a New York-based community health center focusing on LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive patients.

The collection includes Gay Blood Acrylic Paint, Gay Blood Fountain Pen, Gay Blood Paint Pen, Gay Blood Screen printing ink, Gay Blood Spray Paint. 

This collection uses small traces of blood and is safe to use, wear, and handle. 

Coming soon to the collection is the collaboration of gay public figures including Gus Kenworthy, Milan Zrnic, Daniel Ortiz, and Mikel Welch. Kenworthy is using his Olympic status to draw attention to the Gay Blood collection with a hand-painted design on limited edition pride ski goggles. Zrnic is using his skill as a fashion photographer to create a custom print on a vintage blazer. Welch is taking his talents in interior design to upgrade his creative space with an original acrylic paint piece for his home. 

Find all tools from the collection here.

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