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FDA Lifts Blood Ban for Gay Men; Now Recommends Abstaining From Sex for 1 Year

Image: FDA Lifts Blood Ban for Gay Men; Now Recommends Abstaining From Sex for 1 Year
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By    |   Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 01:08 PM

The FDA lifted its lifetime ban this week on accepting blood donations from men who have had sex with men, updating policies to fit with current scientific evidence.

The Food and Drug Administration outlined significant changes to its donation policies as they relate to the potential for transmitting HIV through the blood supply.

"The FDA is changing its recommendation that men who have sex with men (MSM) be indefinitely deferred — a policy that has been in place for approximately 30 years — to 12 months since the last sexual contact with another man," the agency said in a release.

"The FDA's responsibility is to maintain a high level of blood product safety for people whose lives depend on it,” FDA Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D., said. “We have taken great care to ensure this policy revision is backed by sound science and continues to protect our blood supply.”

The change regarding men who have sex with men was made to make that regulation equal to those that govern other people who have increased risk of HIV infection, including people who have had recent blood transfusions or who have been accidentally exposed to someone else's blood, the FDA said.

Blood donation policies have reduced HIV transmission rates from blood transfusions from 1 in 2,500 to 1 in 1.47 million, the government agency said.

The original lifetime ban on gay men and bisexual men was put in place in 1983, when the AIDS epidemic was little understood, CNN reported.

"The United States government has to stop reacting to HIV like it is the early 1980s," Kelsey Louie, CEO for Gay Men's Health Crisis, told CNN. "It is time for the FDA to implement a policy that is truly based on science, not blanket bans on certain groups of people."

Since the new requirement is that men who donate cannot have had sexual contact with another men in the previous 12 months, some disagreed online with the updated policy:


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The FDA lifted its lifetime ban this week on accepting blood donations from men who have had sex with men, updating policies to fit with current scientific evidence.
fda, lifts, blood, men, donating, ban
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2015-08-22
Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 01:08 PM
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