FDA recommends lifting lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued draft guidance recommending an end to the lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

Men who have had sex with other men at any time since 1977 are currently deferred as blood donors. This practice, established in 1983 during the U.S. AIDS epidemic, was put in place as a precaution to prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis B from blood transfusions, since men in this group are at increased risk for those infections, according to the FDA.

The move away from this lifetime ban comes as scientific evidence has shown a shorter blood donation ban would be effective.

If the FDA's draft guidance is enacted, men who fall in this category will no longer be banned for life from giving blood. However, the FDA would still block gay men from donating blood if they had sex with another man in the last 12 months. This is more in line with other nations, like Britain, which adjusted its lifetime ban to a 12-month ban in 2011, according to the New York Times.

The American Medical Association commended the FDA for "taking a step in the right direction." In a statement, AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD, said, "The AMA fully supports and has been a strong advocate for eliminating these current public policies as we believe that the latest scientific evidence should dictate blood and tissue donation deferral periods to ensure the safety of the national blood supply. We look forward to reviewing the FDA's new proposed policy that would replace the lifetime ban on blood donation by MSM."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars