HHS Mulls Lifting Gay Blood Donor Ban
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 12:21 PM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is now evaluating data that could determine whether to continue a ban that prohibits men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood.  The American Medical Association (AMA) and other groups say the ban is no longer necessary given advancements in testing technology, and they have called on the FDA to end the ban.

HHS has completed studies recommended by its Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Tissue Availability, and "is now in the process of evaluating the data to determine if a change in policy should be considered."

Under current policy, any man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is banned for life from donating blood. The FDA enacted the ban in 1983 to protect the nation's blood supply from HIV-infected blood and other bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B.

The FDA's ban on blood donations also applies to intravenous drug users and commercial sex workers because of their increased risk for HIV and other bloodborne diseases.

Information provided by the FDA said the agency "welcomes scientific and public input and will continue to re-evaluate donor deferral policies as new data become available to ensure the safety of blood and blood products for patients who need them." 

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/FDAGeneral/47427