Tags: blood donations | gays | AIDS | hepatitis

US Panel Favors Letting Some Gay Men Donate Blood

Friday, 14 Nov 2014 09:00 AM

The Food and Drug Administration is being urged by a federal advisory committee to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood as long as they have not had sex with another man in a year, according to reports.

The current law prohibits a male donor from giving blood if he has had sex with another man since 1977, when the AIDS epidemic started in the United States, Time said.

The FDA says gay and bisexual males have an "increased risk" of catching HIV, hepatitis B and other infections that could be transmitted by blood transfusion.

On Thursday, a Health Department advisory panel  heard testimony from critics of the ban, including members of the National Gay Blood Drive, who say it’s discriminatory and that technological advances have basically wiped out any risks.

The panel voted 16-2 in favor of allowing gay or bisexual men to give blood after being abstinent for one year.

Although the FDA does not have to heed the panel’s findings, the agency’s spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez said, "The meeting provided valuable information and perspectives that will help inform the FDA’s deliberations."

Time noted that the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada have already changed their policies to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood after a year or five years of abstinence from same-sex encounters.

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The Food and Drug Administration is being urged by a federal advisory committee to allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood as long as they have not had sex with another man in a year, according to reports.
blood donations, gays, AIDS, hepatitis
218
2014-00-14
Friday, 14 Nov 2014 09:00 AM
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